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Concerns over un-sychronized traffic lights in Cape Coral

Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 23:00:49-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Angry drivers and business owners along a stretch of Cape Coral Parkway are fed up, complaining about major traffic jams and what they call hidden road hazards.

Fox 4 investigator Alan Jennings hit the streets to find that morning rush hour traffic along Cape Coral Parkway eastbound is total gridlock, with cars creeping inches at a time.

First responders says may start to call the parkway ‘Heart attack alley’, with bumper to bumper traffic every weekday morning stretching for what seems like forever.

Fox 4 investigative cameras captured what appears to be the culprit: mis-timed traffic lights.

First the light is green, then it’s red in a matter of moments.  Heavy eastbound traffic into Ft. Myers is a huge crazy log jam -- 3,000 vehicles per hour.

One driver tells Fox 4 this is "insane." Another says “they oughta board the place up, and go around the other way.”

Dr. Paul Arnold, a chiropractor whose office sits right on the parkway, has been an eyewitness for years.  He questions whether first responders can get through the traffic mess without jeopardizing someone’s life.

Fire officials have a plan that so far is working.  "It's always a challenge getting to where we need to go, especially this time of year.  We're dealing with tourist season, and traffic does back up.  There's just no way around it," says Battalion 1 Chief Ken Ossowicz.

He says his department is looking into a remote system where firetrucks can change the signal lights as they approach to move traffic out of the way.

Fox 4 discovered the Lee County Traffic Ops Center retimes signal lights within every five year period. But officials couldn't say exactly when the last time the signals were retimed on Cape Coral Parkway.