by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes
Pedestrian crossing signs will be in the middle of 14 crosswalks throughout Sanibel. Councilman Mike Miller said the signs “will make our island safer for pedestrians and cyclists with the beneficial effect of calming traffic.”
Three of these R1-6 in-street signs can already be found in the middle of crosswalks on Periwinkle Way at Sanibel Community House and St. Michael’s Church and on Sanibel Captiva Road at Rabbit Road. They were part of a pilot program to enhance crosswalk safety. Director Keith Williams said the program has been deemed a resounding success.
Councilman John Henshaw voiced concern over sign proliferation and it leading to them being ignored. Williams echoed his concern for sign proliferation and ignorance. “But you will get the motorists attention since they are in the middle of the road. The intent is to counteract sign proliferation.”
Council unanimously approved the purchase of the R1-6 signs at a total estimated cost of $7,700 funded from the existing Streets Repair and Maintenance budget, which does not increase the city’s 2021 or draft 2022 budget.
City staff evaluated uncontrolled and mid-block crosswalks to determine which locations would be receptive to the signs. Williams explained the determination may not have been solely pedestrian related, but location, visibility or volume of traffic were taken into account.
Here’s where the new signs will be placed:
• Causeway Blvd mid-block
• Periwinkle Way @ East Gulf Drive
• Periwinkle Way @ entrance to Lighthouse Beach Park
• Middle Gulf Drive mid-block near Cowry Court
• Casa Ybel Road @ Algiers Lane
• Tarpon Bay Road mid-block near Bailey Tract
• Periwinkle Way @ Bailey Road
• Periwinkle Way mid-block @ Dairy Queen
• Periwinkle Way mid-block @ Roadside Park
• Bailey Road north of Periwinkle Way
• Bailey Road @ Pond Apple Park Trail
• Dunlop Road mid-block @ City Hall/Sanibel Library
• Sanibel-Captiva Road @ Bowman’s Beach Road
• Sanibel-Captiva Road @ Mangrove Lane
All for pedestrian safety. But definitely sign proliferation, visual road clutter and another offense to the natural aesthetic of the island. “Calming traffic” is a stretch. Putting things in the middle of the road? Let’s see how many get run over.