Gateway Sun

Some residents of the Daniel’s Preserve community have been pushing the Lee County Department of Transportation to install a traffic light at the intersection of Gateway Boulevard and Commerce Lakes Drive.

LCDOT Deputy Director Dave Murphy had some good news… and bad news… to share.

The bad news is that: “The intersection of Commerce Lakes Drive and Gateway Blvd did not meet warrants for a signal or a roundabout at this time,” said Murphy, according to a response that was shared on social media.

But the good news is that: “Our staff did indicate that some sight lines could be improved with some landscape changes in the median. Our staff will follow through with this improvement.”

At the November 16, 2017 meeting of the Gateway Services District, Public Works Manager Michael Tisch told the Board of Supervisors that twelve large oak trees are slated for removal near that intersection which should improve visibility, hopefully reducing accidents.

Interestingly, a far more meaningful change for the intersection of Gateway Boulevard and Griffin Drive was shared by LCDOT.

“The intersection of Griffin Drive and Gateway Blvd did meet warrants for a signal or roundabout. Steve Jansen the County Traffic Engineer is recommending a roundabout for this intersection. Lee County is placing this project on the Intersection Improvement priority list. Lee County DOT is in the process of evaluating how this project rates with the other improvements on the list. In the next month LCDOT will know when there will be money for the design of this project,” said Murphy.

However, in 2016 the South Trail Fire & Rescue District acquired the lot at the southwest corner of that intersection, and have plans to build a new station there in 3 to 5 years. And at the GSCDD meeting on October 20, 2016, Division Chief of Support Services & Logistics Chris Wolfe stated that the fire department would want a traffic signal at the Gateway & Griffin intersection.

So LCDOT believes there should be a roundabout, while South Trail says they want a traffic signal.

It’s entirely possible that LCDOT’s Jansen is unaware of the the fire department’s plans.

Clearly, Jansen and Wolfe should set up a conversation with each other before any money is spent by Lee County installing a roundabout at Gateway’s main intersection.

break-line

To me it’s really simple: South Trail says they want a traffic signal at Gateway and Griffin.

End of discussion.

A roundabout sounds great in theory… and actually I think a roundabout would be BETTER than a traffic signal for the flow of traffic… but if Wolfe and his department say they want a traffic signal at Gateway and Griffin, then give them a traffic signal.

But that said, I am glad they’re not going to put a signal or roundabout at Commerce Lakes Drive.

Believe me, I use Commerce Lakes Drive as much as anyone… and I totally get what the Daniel’s Preserve residents are saying… their concerns are 100% valid, especially during morning traffic… but the larger problem is that intersection is just one of about ten places in Gateway you could make the exact same argument.

Try turning left out of Cypress Pointe.

Try turning left out of Stoneybrook. In fact try driving past Stoneybrook at all during rush hour for that matter.

Try turning left out of the more southern Towne Lakes Drive and Gateway Boulevard intersection.

Hell, try turning left or right out of Silverlakes. You have to pull half way out on to Griffin Drive to see anything in either direction.

You get the idea. There are traffic issues all over Gateway.

Some of it caused by speeding drivers, and some certainly caused by landscaping.

But do we really need a half-dozen lights and roundabouts on Gateway Boulevard and a few more on Griffin Drive?

I mean, maybe we do. But before they go doing that I think it’s better to at least try the landscaping changes first for every intersection except Gateway and Griffin.

About Jeff Kuntz

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Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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