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RED LIGHT GREEN LIGHT: Neighbors petition for traffic signal on Joel Blvd.

Estimates of more than 17,000 cars a day on this road between Homestead and Palm Beach Boulevard
Posted at 9:24 PM, Feb 08, 2024

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — On East 14th Street and Joel Boulevard neighbors said they want to see a change.

The last crash Jackie Riches saw near her home was the last straw. She created a petition for a traffic light at East 14th Street and Joel Boulevard.

Find that petition here.

Riches said, "[It] involved a teenager. I have two teenagers. One which just got his drivers license."

She and some of her neighbors said this intersection is a car concern with all the traffic, the speed and the crashes.

"This isn't an occasional little fender bender. I mean when the accidents happen, they're usually pretty severe," Riches said.

Riches added since January she's seen six or seven crashes from her home, and the other 175 people who signed her petition want change.

"It's the residents basically calling out for help," Riches said.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation, as of 2022, between Homestead Road and State Road 80, on Joel Boulevard, the annual average daily traffic is 17,500 cars.

Riches said, "These intersections right here, in this stretch, they need some sort of stop. It needs to have some sort of stoplight or police presence."

In January, Fox 4 spoke with the Lee Department of Transportation, on current and future projects in Lehigh Acres. However, this intersection isn't on their list.

In statement to Fox 4 on East 14th St and Joel Blvd Lee DOT said,

"Lee DOT is evaluating the intersection...If, after evaluation, it is determined conditions warrant changes to the intersection, the project would be ranked along with the other roadway improvements in the area."
Lee Department of Transportation

Riches said she no longer wants to make 911 calls.

"It's a very distinct sound. Usually there's an accident, and we come out here, and we'll look, and if we don't see a whole lot of activity, we'll always call it in," Riches said.