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Traffic problem at Pelican Elementary has some worried for student safety

CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Neighbors along SW 36th Terrace across from Pelican Elementary School say a morning traffic problem is getting worse, and they want something done about it before the school year starts.

Mike Pacelli says his mailbox is constantly being hit by blinded drivers.

“I’m on the third mailbox that’s been knocked down by parents in just one school year,” Pacelli told WINK News.

Pacelli says the problems lies with parents dropping their kids off at school being blinded by the sun. Parents are supposed to drive westward down 36th Terrace to enter the drop off lot, but Pacelli says many ignore that rule and attempt to enter by driving eastward, right towards the rising sun.

“They’re causing some property damage, hitting some mailboxes, they’ve knocked over garbage cans… they’re driving blind, completely blind into the sun,” he said.

After three years, Pacelli is now taking his concerns to the city council. He wants the city to make 36th Terrace ‘one way only’ between 6am and 8am on school days, forcing parents to only drive westward, away from the sun. But it’s not only to keep his mailbox safe.

“My worst fear is that one of the children gets hit,” he said.

Others in the neighborhood have the same fear.

“I think what would help a lot would be putting sidewalks in, give the kids somewhere to walk, ’cause right now there’s nowhere to walk on the road or in somebody’s grass,” said Pacelli’s neighbor Dick Chappell.

Pacelli would love sidewalks, but for now thinks a simple sign will take care of the problem.

“I think it probably would require a police presence for who knows, maybe a week, certainly not more than 2 weeks.”

The City Council agreed with Cape Coral Police Chief Bart Connelly’s recommendation Monday to let the police department look further into the matter and return at a later date with more information.

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