by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes
The number of vehicles crossing the Sanibel Causeway in March was up by 32.57 percent compared to March 2020 for a difference of 86,483 vehicles, according to a report released this month by Lee County, which owns and operates the bridge and its toll booths. It marks one year since the islands have felt the effects of COVID-19.
The Sanibel City Council issued its local state of emergency, which expired May 4, and the first case of the virus on the island was reported in mid-March 2020. Traffic declined sharply the following month and has remained down until March 2021.
Overall traffic through March of this year was up by 2.59 percent or increased by 23,415 vehicles versus the same time period last year. And the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau is expecting a busy summer season, according to its Executive Director Tamara Pigott. She told Sanibel & Captiva Chamber of Commerce members in March they are expecting this summer to be like season.
In an effort to alleviate traffic congestion, the city offers a free “Sanibel Bound” app for motorists to access real-time traffic conditions on the island. The city also has five street cams streaming on its website.