Traffic and Road Safety

In May 2021, the GPICA Board sent a letter to Lee County Community Development and Transportation Department staff outlining some of our key traffic and road safety issues and  requesting a meeting to address them.

The key areas we asked to address were:

  • Congestion in Matlacha
  • Congestion at Pine Island Center
  • Poor road conditions and other problems on Pineland Road and Waterfront Drive
  • Read the full letter for details.

Shortly after we sent the letter, County staff fully repaved Pineland Road and Waterfront Drive in Pineland.

Then, on June 15, 2021, members of the GPICA Board, along with representatives from the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, met with Randy Cerchie, Director of the Lee County Department of Transportation and members of his staff.

  • During the meeting we addressed the issues outlined in our letter.

Matlacha Congestion

Mr. Cerchie pointed out that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has undertaken a feasibility study for the development of a shared-use path along Pine Island Road (from Burnt Store Road to Pine Island Center/Stringfellow Road). The study is expected to take 12-18 months. Mr. Cerchie said he believes the study will have to incorporate traffic congestion issues in Matlacha, as well as the conflicts between walkers/bikers and drivers in that area and suggested that we wait until that study is complete as it will likely point to some possible solutions to the congestion.

  • GPICA Board Member Mike Sweeney is a member of the FDOT advisory committee looking at the shared-use path and provides regular updates to GPICA members about its progress. (Page down for more info.)
  • In the meantime, Lee DOT staff will look at the possibility of installing a traffic camera in Matlacha and utilizing a traffic app, which would at least alert residents and visitors when there is heavy congestion in the area so they can plan trips accordingly.

The GPICA Board also urged county staff to look for additional engineering options utilized in other regions of the U.S. and world that could potentially lessen traffic conflicts and congestion in this area — keeping it friendly for walkers and shoppers, while also making it safer for all.

Pine Island Center Congestion

Mr. Cerchie recounted that several years ago, Lee DOT had outlined potential solutions for traffic at the four-way intersection of Pine Island and Stringfellow roads, including a roundabout or a stop light. He pointed out that residents were adamantly opposed to either option so no further action was taken at the time.

  • Mr. Cerchie agreed to be the key speaker at the GPICA’s October 2021 meeting to address these and other issues traffic concerns.

LDOT also provided background documents about the previous proposal and the latest traffic  study.

Pineland Road

Shortly after the GPICA Board sent a letter requesting a meeting about traffic/road safety issues, LDOT repaved Pineland Road and Waterfront Drive.

The GPICA Board thanked Lee DOT for undertaking this project and asked that staff further consider adding striping (typically not done on residential roads of this type) as was done at the first curve on Pineland Road, look at the possibility of adding mirrors at the intersection/curve where Pineland Road transitions into Waterfront Drive. Staff said they would look into these options.

Shared Use Path

GPICA Board Member Mike Sweeney represents Pine Island and the GPICA on the Florida Department of Transportation committee working on a feasibility study about developing a five-mile shared-use path from the intersection of Burnt Store Road/Veteran’s Parkway through Matlacha to Stringfellow Road at Pine Island Center.

The purpose of the project is to determine the feasibility of constructing a safe, viable, non-motorized travel option for commuters and recreational users of Pine Island Road, while minimizing effects to the natural, cultural, social, and physical environment.

FDOT is currently conducting a survey for residents and potential users of this pathway. The survey will be open through July 16, 2021. GPICA urges all residents and visitors to take the survey today.

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