Sanibel Island considers using technology to help with traffic

SANIBEL ISLAND.- Bumper to bumper traffic is the norm on Sanibel, especially during season. But, a new plan would let you know about traffic before you even get to the Sanibel Causeway toll booth.

Traffic often comes to a halt on Periwinkle Way.

“Hectic. Traffic control. Drivers not paying attention, people from out of town trying to figure out where they are going,” said Sanibel visitor Michael Johnson.

But, what if you knew how congested the island was before you even went through the toll plaza?

“I would definitely steer clear if I saw the two hour warning,” said Johnson.

Council members are looking into putting signage before the Sanibel Causeway to alert visitors to how long the potential traffic wait times are.

“Anything we can do to improve the traffic on the island in letting our visitors and residents know in advance what the traffic is like, is a positive step in the right direction,” said Billy Kirkland.

Right now, this is just a preliminary idea. Sanibel leaders still need to do more research, including how much the signs would cost.

Kirkland owns Billy’s Rentals. He likes giving people a chance to decide if they want to sit in traffic.

“For a visitor, if they have a bad experience as far as traffic, they will leave here with a bad taste in their mouth,” said Kirkland.

The mayor says they will work with Lee County to figure out what’s best. The county gets 79 percent of the revenue from the Sanibel Causeway.

“They may turn around and head somewhere else, but I think they will come back at another day when the traffic is not as congested,” Kirkland told WINK News.

Council members are also looking into phone apps that will give you the traffic wait times and live traffic cameras you can see on your cell phone.