Wednesday, November 3, 2010

News-Press:Signs to protect bicyclists, walkers on Cape Coral roadway

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By Andrea Jackson ••
November 3, 2010

One of Cape Coral’s busiest roads has
new signs warning drivers, pedestrians and cyclists
that it is also not one of the safest.

The 11 signs, saying “look both ways for
bikes/peds” are up along Del Prado Boulevard
intersections, primarily north of Veteran’s Memorial

More than 50 people, either walking or on a bicycle,
were hit by vehicles between January 2006 through
December 2009, according to Stephen Jansen, traffic
engineer for Lee County Department of
Transportation, which maintains Del Prado from
Cape Coral Parkway north to Pine Island Road.

The yellow signs, with black lettering and
measuring 30 inches by 24 inches, were installed
recently at six cross streets from Southeast 27th
Street to Veterans Memorial Parkway.

Approximately 51,000 cars a day travel the stretch
of Del Prado, where most of the signs are located,
according to the county.

A Lee County study found signs at those spots
could help reduce crashes along the 45 mph, six-
lane boulevard lined with businesses.

Especially vulnerable were bicyclists. Of the 53
accidents, 29 were cyclists, including 20 who were
hit riding across sidewalks against traffic and 17
struck by drivers who were exiting driveways or
side streets at stop signs off Del Prado, Jansen said.

“They were primarily right turns into the cyclists
path,” said Jansen, who did the study. “Drivers turn
right and forget to look both ways.”

There was one death.

City officials helped the county install the $100

“It’s a reminder that might help save somebody’s
life,” said Rashad M. Hanbali, Cape traffic engineer.

The new signs, smaller than stop signs, were
missed by some.

Giovanni Flynn stood across from one at Southeast
13th Street. “I didn’t even notice them,” he said.

Jansen plans to look at other roads in the county to
see if more signs are needed.

Some Cape residents said they would not attempt to
cross the busy boulevard walking or cycling. Others
say the signs don’t go far enough.

Cape resident Dick Rosenquist calls it “walker
beware” because of the speed of the traffic.

Whether the signs are working may not be known
for some time.

“One typically looks at three years data to estimate
the efficacy of a safety project,” Jansen said.

This year, 81 pedestrians and bicyclists have been
hit on all roadways in the Cape, with 62 percent
pedestrians, according to the city. Four people have

In April, 13-year-old Ryan Santos died trying to
cross Del Prado at Northeast 3rd Terrace, north of
the signs. He was going to the park across the street
to watch a softball game.

The boy’s mother, Kerri Santos, said she would like
to see signs or flashing lights at the intersection
and believes it’s too dangerous to cross.

“Something should go up over there,” Santos said
Tuesday. “I think drivers are not paying attention.”

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