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"IT'S LIKE NASCAR.": FDOT plans improve State Road 82 conditions

Posted at 10:23 PM, Apr 11, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. — "It's a nightmare."

"It's like NASCAR."

That's how locals described driving on State Road 82. And on Wednesday, drivers there witnessed a road rage accident that stopped traffic.

The Florida Department of Transportation said those conditions and their data made them take a closer look at SR 82.

"It brought to light that there are issues and crash data...that make us, FDOT, aware that it's needed," said FDOT Public Information Specialist David Scarpelli.

Now, FDOT wants the community to weigh in. They want feedback on these seven intersections along SR 82:

  • Sunshine Boulevard
  • Alabama Road
  • Grant Boulevard
  • Rue Labeau Circle
  • Parkdale Boulevard
  • Bell Boulevard
  • Columbus Boulevard

Along this seven-mile stretch, FODT said in the past three years, there's been more than 300 crashes. One person died in 10 of those crashes.
Now, they want to make those intersections right turns only, forcing drivers to make U-turns in safer spots.

Scarpelli described what happens on Blackstone Drive and SR 82 when drivers turn left.

"They're stuck going left for a really long time, causing a back up," he said.

While it may prevent crashes and help traffic, it's not a long term fix.

The goal is to have all these intersections look like Daniels Parkway and 82. At the moment, Lee County plans to install a similar traffic signal at Sunshine Boulevard and SR 82.

However, FDOT said there's not enough in the budget to do that at the other six intersections.

"I love that intersection...I noticed less deaths, less accidents," said Jessica Vargas, a driver.

Road safety is a two-way street. Drivers' speed plays a part, too.

It may feel or look like NASCAR, but no checkered flags. Instead, these orange ones as reminder for the speed limit, which is 55 mph.

"70 you're going to slow. Let's do 80," said Tonya Passmore, a driver.

FDOT said it'll work with law enforcement to punish those who feel the need for speed.

"What I would like for them to do is slow down that's really the biggest thing.," Scarpelli said. "Slow down, and just pay attention to whatever changes may be coming."

Give FDOT your input here for changes you can see later this year.