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Sanibel implements traffic flow improvements: See the new, fastest way off-island

Posted at 10:01 PM, Jan 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-26 22:01:32-05

SANIBEL, Fla. — In a move aimed at easing the congestion that has frustrated residents and visitors of Sanibel Island, town leaders have implemented changes to the traffic flow, promising quicker exits off the island.

Just a month ago, the community voiced concerns over the time-consuming nature of leaving the island. Now those concerns are being addressed with strategic changes to traffic patterns.

Sanibel Town Manager Dana Souza urged residents and visitors to utilize Periwinkle Way for exiting the island.

"Please use Periwinkle way to exit the island, we are going to get you off much faster than if you go any of the other alternative routes, because we're prioritizing them at a lower rate," Souza stated.

This change means that those attempting to leave via East Gulf Drive or Bailey's Road might experience longer wait times than before.

This shift has resulted in a difference in traffic flow, with approximately three-quarters of the traffic being directed through Periwinkle each cycle. Observations revealed that for every 5-10 cars allowed through on Lindgren, around 30 cars were waved through on Periwinkle.

As a part of the new traffic management strategy, a traffic controller at the intersection of Periwinkle and Bailey's Road was added. This move is intended to discourage the use of the Dunes neighborhood as a shortcut, a practice that had raised safety concerns among residents due to the lack of sidewalks.

Gene Lopez, a neighbor at the Dunes, mentioned the dangers posed by the high-speed traffic through his neighborhood.

"On a normal night, there's a lot of traffic going through here, most of it is going 40 miles an hour, not 20, and you need to be very alert here or you're going to get hit," Lopez explained.

However, with the new traffic changes now in their second day, Lopez noted a significant decrease in drivers cutting through his neighborhood, marking an early sign of success for the town's changes.