Traffic signals needed on U.S. 41, East!
A number of people have asked me about the string of traffic accidents lately on U.S. 41 E, so I promised I would write about them and the need for traffic signals at two locations.
For about six years now the East Naples community, and I as their commissioner, have been asking the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for a stoplight at the intersection of Eagle Lakes Community Park/ Hitching Post and another one at Whistler's Cove/South West Blvd.-Trail Acres.
You see, U.S. 41 is NOT a county road, so we cannot take it upon ourselves to install a light.
We must ask the state and they, then, study to see if the area meets “warrants.” Once it meets “warrants,” the county has to find the dollars to install the light, mast arms, engineering, permitting, etc.
The county usually seeks assistance with the cost from those businesses in the area that might benefit. In this economy of late, it hasn't been easy to find that assistance, understandably, because we're talking in the range of $450,000!
The light at Eagle Lakes finally met the warrants and a developer stepped forward to partially fund the project (the park is also supposed to contribute to the cost), and that light and mast arms are being designed to fit that area specifically.
The other area by Whistler’s Cove did not meet warrants, but then again, the warrants are based on vehicle traffic, not pedestrian traffic, which is mainly the type of traffic for this intersection.
I personally asked the state a number of times if there wasn’t anything that could be installed to caution traffic or assist the walkers and bikers with safe passage from one side of U.S. 41E to the other, across six lanes of traffic going at least 55 mph. (Look at Marco with the lighted cross walks which provide safe passage on Collier Blvd.)
If such an arrangement isn’t possible on U.S. 41, possibly caution signals could be installed and activated to stop signals when a button is pushed.
Horrible accidents keeping happening there, as many as three in recent weeks. The first was a young man coming home from Lely High School on his bike, the second was a two-car accident and the third was a woman who was hit crossing U.S. 41E and was killed.
This MUST stop! Please write FDOT (click here and, then, click on the "contact us" link at the top, right) and tell them how important it is to provide safety for the walking public to get across U.S. 41 E by Whistler's Cove. You can also write an email to Johnny.Limbbaugh@dot.state.fl.us and NormanFeder@colliergov.net and copy all the commissioners and the Naples Daily News letters-to-the-editor and implore the to get the job done and protect the people who need to cross the street. we need your help. They will listen to a groundswell of people all focused on the welfare of fellow citizens. Insist they install safety features immediately.I could use your help and support!
**The Columbiette's from San Marco Catholic Church had a Winter Wonderland Dinner Dance in January, and I believe I saw every dedicated volunteer and community advocate at those tables! What a marvelous group! I bet Father Tim is extremely proud of his congregation and fellowship shared by all.