State and county lawmakers join fight for traffic light
Private groups, county commissioners and state lawmakers are all getting in on the fight for a traffic light at the intersection of the new Metro Parkway extension and Briarcliff Road. The calls have gotten louder after Cross Way Baptist Church pa Video by fox4now.comvideo
LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Private groups, county commissioners and state lawmakers are all getting in on the fight for a traffic light at the intersection of the new Metro Parkway extension and Briarcliff Road.
The calls have gotten louder after Cross Way Baptist Church pastor David Vanaman was critically injured there last Monday.
Vanaman is in a coma after the driver of an SUV blindly drove into the the intersection less than a day after the roadway opened.
"We are going to see more deaths. There's no question, it is a speedway and a death trap," said Lee County commissioner Ray Judah at Tuesday's commission meeting.
That's when commissioners directed the transportation director to write a letter urging the state hurry up and install a traffic light.
For added safety, Lee County crews installed signs Tuesday as well, alerting both eastbound and westbound drivers on Briarcliff of the stop ahead.
The state has already committed to start a traffic study in December to see if a light is warranted.
But some feel that's not soon enough.
"We can't tell them to do it, but certainly we've shared our concerns," state representative Matt Caldwell tells us.
The intersection is in Caldwell's district.
He says me he's meeting with the Florida Department of Transportation Secretary for Southwest Florida.
"Myself and Senator Benacquisto both are trying to encourage them to move that process up and get it done sooner rather than later," he adds.
Meanwhile the Vanaman family holds vigil for their father's recovery and hopes action doesn't come too late.
"Our lives have been changed forever by this and I wouldn't want anyone to have to go through what we're going through right now," says son Nic Vanaman.
That traffic study is supposed to be competed in February.
No word on whether pressure from county and state lawmakers will expedite things.