Thursday, January 20, 2011

News-Press:Fix studied for Del Prado stretch where boy was killed

don ruane ••
January 20, 2011

Del Prado Boulevard’s median could be
improved to help people cross the busy road where
a boy was killed by a car last spring, a Lee County
traffic engineer told the Cape Coral City Council on

First, the county wants another traffic study, said
senior traffic engineer Steve Jansen during a city
Transportation Advisory Committee meeting. Del
Prado, from Pine Island Road to Cape Coral Parkway,
is maintained by Lee County. The city controls the
side streets.

“We will do the count again before we decide to do
the median,” he said.

The county is looking at Del Prado’s intersection
with Northeast 3rd Terrace and Northeast 2nd
Terrace. It’s where Ryan Santos, 13, was struck by a
car and killed April 27 while crossing to a city park.
Del Prado has six lanes and a 45-mph speed limit in
that area.

A study last June showed enough traffic on Del
Prado for a signal, but not enough on side streets,
Jansen said. The county wants data from February or M
arch before deciding what to do, Jansen said.
About 30,000 cars travel Del Prado in the area daily.

If approved, the narrow median separating the left
turn lane on Del Prado from oncoming traffic would
be widened so pedestrians will have room to stop
for approaching cars before continuing on.

The plan also includes eliminating left turns from
Northeast 3rd Terrace and Northeast 2nd Terrace.
Only right turns on to Del Prado would be allowed,
Jansen said. Eliminating the left turn eliminates a
source of traffic for pedestrians to watch for, he

“The median idea is not a bad idea. The median
(now) is not even as wide as a bike,” said Kerri
Santos, Ryan’s mother. She presented the county
with a petition for improvements signed by 1,300

The county also is willing to put up brown
information signs letting drivers know the park is

“The signs would be a good thing,” Santos said. A
new RaceTrac gas station at Northeast 3rd Terrace
and Del Prado makes it harder to see the park, she

The plan is a good first step, said Darla Letourneau
of BikeWalk Lee, a group promoting bicycle and
pedestrian safety. Better signage is needed, she

“You can’t see the park from the road. It’s set back a
block,” Letourneau said.

She also asked the city council advisory board to
consider flashers and other traffic calming steps.

Changing the medians creates an inconvenience for
residents who live near the park but safety of
children is important, said Andres Rodriguez of
Northeast 3rd Terrace. The gas station, a RaceTrac,
increases the danger, he said. Children will be
tempted to cross Del Prado for a cold drink or snack
or to hang out with friends.

Officials could do more, Rodriguez said. They could
put slanted crosswalk lines on the pavement, reduce
the speed limit, add flashing lights and safety signs
and increase enforcement.

There are no marked crosswalks, TAC Chairman Pete
Brandt said.

See yesterday's story: Cape traffic committee urged
to add more safety measures for busy road

Here’s NBC-2 news story on the Del Prado intersection. Clip on right hand video with this title.

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