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Solution needed for in-season traffic

January 23, 2019
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

To the editor:

Well, it's that time again - the season. Brenda and I have gone crepuscular. Like our friends the raccoons and the coyotes, we venture out only in either the very early morning or after twilight. We do this in order to retain at least a scintilla of sanity. Just after dawn, the cars begin to arrive, and Sanibel remains gridlocked until the sun goes down. Once on the island, most visitors seem to - slowly - drive up Periwinkle Way, stop - unwillingly - for a half hour or so to see the sights around Jerry's, and then cruise all the way up to South Seas on Captiva. Finding there aren't any places to park on Captiva, they then turn around and repeat their trip, again stopping for a while to sniff the exhaust fumes at Jerry's. This exercise takes up the whole day, until they find themselves back on the causeway, sometime around sun down.

Legend has it that the ghost of poor old Charley, who starved to death while waiting to make a left turn into Bailey's still roams the island.

It's interesting. We have a mayor who spends countless hours fighting to improve our water quality. And we really appreciate that. Isn't the pollution caused by thousands of cars moving at a snail's pace daily from January through Easter at least as big an environmental problem? Where is the council person who is willing to spend that amount of effort to find and implement a solution?

Let's face it: roundabouts aren't the answer. Not by a long shot.

We have a built-in data logger called the Causeway Toll Booths. Looking at data already available, we should be able to figure out how many cars on the island equal too many. Once we know that number, we can then limit the number of vehicles on the island. To be politically correct, we can refer to that as "sustainability." Once we have reached the magic number, signs on Summerlin will tell drivers that until further notice, only residents and emergency vehicles will be allowed through.

That's just my idea. No doubt the dedicated council person will be able to find other measures as well. We just have to learn to say that enough is enough, and to mean it.

Sam Tishler




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