Neighbors demand traffic signal at new intersection
New information after an accident on the new Metro Parkway Extension Monday. It happened yesterday afternoon at the corner of of the new Michael G. Rippe Parkway and Briarcliff Road, less than a day after the new $30 million dollar project opened Video by fox4now.comvideo
Fort Myers, Fla. - New information after an accident on the new Metro Parkway Extension Monday.
It happened yesterday afternoon at the corner of of the new Michael G. Rippe Parkway and Briarcliff Road, less than a day after the new $30 million dollar project opened.
The victim is identified as 56-year old David Vanaman, and he's in critical condition at Lee Memorial Hospital.
And neighbors want to know why the department of transportation won't put a light at the intersection.
Linda Darby is one of them.
"My heart just sank because it's so obvious that if you're driving this, that it is a danger zone," she tells us.
The Lee Sheriff's office says the driver of an SUV, headed east on Briarcliff Road, pulled out into the middle of the intersection with Michael Rippe Parkway and into the path of a scooter.
"There's no indication of any place in the median where you can stop. Basically you have to get across the 6 lanes," Linda explains.
And now, the driver of the scooter is fighting for his life.
And the people who live in the neighborhood say it could have been prevented if a traffic light had been installed.
"Until they make their decision if they're going to put a traffic light, put some caution lights, flashing caution lights to warn the drivers that there's going to be some type of traffic crossing Briarcliff," adds Linda.
So we went to the Florida Department of Transportation with those concerns.
"We have stop signs with flashing red lights on top of them; we have message boards in advance of the intersection saying stop ahead," says spokesperson Debbie Tower.
Tower also says the department has already committed to doing a study to see if a light is warranted at the end of November.
"When the project's compete, then we have real conditions, real traffic patterns emerging that we can begin to evaluate," adds Tower.
In the meantime drivers say they take their taking their lives in their hands.
"The accident should be proof enough, we don't have time to have a study to be released," says Linda.
DOT says it has already designed a traffic signal, installed underground components and provided equipment should a light be needed.
And sheriff's office says it will be out making sure drivers are following the speed limit and stopping at the the stop signs,.
Sheriff's deputies also want to talk to a driver whom they believe may have played a factor in that accident.
They believe a creme colored Lexus or Toyota SUV may have also been involved and are still looking to speak to the driver, identified as a white female in her 50s with brown hair.
Call the sheriff's office at 477-1000 with any information.