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People calling for safety measures on SR82 to prevent accidents

Posted at 2:23 AM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 02:23:18-05

LEHIGH ACRES — We’re learning changes are coming to a busy road in Lee County in order to make it safer.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will be adding new signage to State Route 82 letting people know where to turn.

But we spoke with a woman living in the area who said she and others are hoping for bigger changes in the future to prevent accidents.

2021 is the first year that SR82 is six-lane road, but Sara Rathburn-Yourkvitch said when the construction was complete, crews forgot something.

“When they started construction, they had temporary signage, and then when they finished the road, they didn’t put the signs back up," said Rathburn-Yourkvitch.

Without those street signs, Rathburn-Yourkvitch said drivers may not be looking for turning cars.

“With the three lanes, extra lanes now, people are just pulling out. There’s a lot of accidents, you read about it or hear about it on the news a lot," said Rathburn-Yourkvitch.

If you’ve been watching Fox 4 news, you have been hearing about it. Our cameras have captured several crashes over the past two years along the roadway.

“It’s hard now, that’s why these accidents are happening. I think people just get frustrated because it’s so busy, they just pull out," said Rathburn-Yourkvitch.

We also talked with employees at the Dollar General near the intersection of Alabama Rd. S and SR82. They didn’t want to go on camera, but they told us they’re used to seeing a crash at this intersection almost every week.

Rathburn-Yourkvitch said she reached out to FDOT about the intersection, and on Tuesday morning she got a response saying the signage is coming.

“They answered me back and said these two at Alabama and at Sunshine were ordered, and would hopefully put up in January," said Rathburn-Yourkvitch.

But Rathburn-Yourkvitch said, if they really want to prevent accidents they need to slow down the flow of traffic, and that means stop lights.

“I hate lights sometimes when you’re going along, but this becomes a road that probably needs it to slow it down to give the side roads a chance to get out," said Rathburn-Yourkvitch.

According to the email Rathburn-Yourkvitch received from FDOT, the new signs should be in by January 18th. She said her next step is to organize other homeowners to petition for a stop light.