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Sanibel making changes to improve traffic congestion

SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla.- Sanibel Island is working on a $40,000 solution to traffic congestion, involving the installation of live traffic cameras, signs with wait times, and even carpooling.

Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane says traffic was the biggest complaint he received in 2015.

“You may be three hours in traffic, an hour and a half coming and an hour and a half going home,” said Ruane.

Ruane knows the reality of tourist season, 13,000 cars visit the island daily during peak times.

“I hear it from residents, from visitors, many people just complaining about the traffic and how long they sat in it,” said Ruane.

On Monday, the city made a new announcement on their efforts to keep people out of their cars and enjoying more time on the island.

“During season it can get crazy, you can wait for a long time to get on the beach,” said Fort Myers resident Amy Brewington.

The mayor is also asking people who work on the island to carpool, something Billy Kirkland, owner of Billy’s Rentals, says is working for them.

“We are very fortunate. We have a warehouse off island, so my employees are able to park at the warehouse and drive delivery trucks onto the island,” said Kirkland.

Sanibel is also moving forward with technology. If approved by the City Council, within the next month, electronic signs with traffic wait times will be going up before you pay the toll. Three live cameras will also be set up, so you can see the traffic is in real time.

“You can look at the feed and see if it’s crowded down there, you don’t have to worry about coming down, paying it and just waiting. You can just either decide to go or not to go at all, ” said Brooke Feldman.

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