Students using intersection raises safety concerns outside Cape Coral middle school

Published: May 9, 2022 6:30 PM EDT
Updated: May 11, 2022 12:01 PM EDT

A growing concern in Cape Coral about students walking without protection. Neighbors say the intersection of Chiquita Blvd. and Tropicana Pkwy. isn’t safe.

Students at Mariner Middle School cross Chiquita and Tropicana between the crosswalk or over the median to get picked up at either 7-Eleven or Dollar General.

“Busy commuters, distracted drivers, it just makes me, as a parent, panic and you know even though it’s not my child that’s in that intersection, it’s somebody else’s,” says Cape Coral resident Charlene Buen-Sabga.

“We’re banking on 11 and 12-year-olds to understand to wait and watch for drivers and the drivers are trying to figure out which TikTok video is the best this morning,” Buen-Sabga says. “Who’s got the best station on. Oh, shoot I forgot to send that email. It’s just a nasty combination waiting to happen.”

Speed limit signs near the school say 35 miles per hour, and there’s a pedestrian traffic sign. What you don’t see is a school zone sign.

The school district says Mariner Middle has asked for a crossing guard and a school zone sign. The city says making it a school zone is up to Cape Coral’s traffic engineer.

Buen-Sabga wants something done so the kids can be safe.

“If you’re a resident of Cape Coral and you care and love it like I do, you’re going to want to make sure that everybody’s child is safe,” Buen-Sabga said.

According to a Cape Coral spokeswoman, in August of 2021, the school district reached out to the city and explained concerns regarding the intersection of Tropicana and Chiquita. As a result, the city implemented enhanced signage in the area the 4-way stop with crosswalks.

The city added school signs along Tropicana and Chiquita as you approach the intersection in addition to the reduction of speed signs as well, the spokeswoman said. There is also a state-funded project that will bring additional signs in front of Mariner Middle School.