FORT MYERS, Florida — Lee County executives proposed a plan to construct a roundabout to ease traffic congestion at a busy Gateway intersection according to the Fort Myers News-Press. Gateway is a community situated to the east of Fort Myers. Opponents of the plan claim that the proposed changes to existing traffic patterns will increase the number of accidents that occur in the busy intersection due to operator confusion. Traffic lights at some crowded Gateway intersections are the other alternative. Whatever the solution to the problem might be, authorities agree that something must be done to reduce the number of traffic accidents amassed in recent years in Gateway.
Lee County commissioners will engage a firm to conduct a traffic study at the intersections of Gateway Boulevard and Griffin Drive as well as Gateway Boulevard and Commerce Lakes Drive. The study will investigate whether crews should install traffic signals or roundabouts at these two intersections.
Auto accidents at these intersections have increased steadily over the last few years as the population of Gateway and the surrounding communities grows. The intersection at Griffin and Gateway Boulevard is only slightly safer than the intersection of Gateway Boulevard and Commerce Lakes Drive. At the former intersection, the county determined that there were 33 accidents at that intersection from 2015 to 2018, 24 of them being a “T-bone” collision. Motorists at the other intersection were involved in 75 accidents with 50 of them occurring as “T-bone” type incidents.
Advocates of installing roundabouts at these intersections say that this is a safer alternative and more efficient alternative to installing traffic lights. Advocates argue that motorists will have to wait longer at traffic lights. Roundabouts, according to the data, are the sensible alternative to traffic lights for the next two decades based on population estimates and expansion plans for the community and surrounding area.
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