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Dunes repaving project adjusted following input from residents

June 8, 2018
By TIFFANY REPECKI (trepecki@breezenewspapers.com) , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The city is moving ahead with the road repaving project for the Dunes neighborhood, which will entail removing and relocating one speed hump, adding an additional hump and creating a no passing zone.

On June 5, the Sanibel City Council voted 5-0 to award the project's contract to Southern Striping Solutions for about $517,627, based on new recommendations presented by staff. Last month, council directed staff to bring back additional options for the project after citizens spoke up at the meeting.

Residents voiced both support and opposition for the humps - traffic calming devices used to reduce speeding. Drivers are known to use Sand Castle Road as a shortcut to avoid Periwinkle Way traffic. Safety concerns for non-motorists were cited against noises made when vehicles drive over the humps.

Staff originally recommended sticking with the four modular speed bumps on Sand Castle - two on the south loop and two on the north loop. After receiving direction from council and taking into consideration the input from the public, staff came back with an updated recommendation for the dais.

Public Works Director Keith Williams explained that the plan would be to remove one of the humps from the north loop at 1605 Sand Castle Road, without having a negative impact on the traffic pattern.

"We feel that device could be removed permanently," he said.

Along the south loop, staff suggested reinstalling the existing two humps once the repaving is complete. In addition, two new humps would be installed on Sand Castle and Albatross Road. The Sand Castle one would be between 1322 and 1312, and the Albatross between 1438 and 1428.

Williams noted that it would bring the number of devices on the south loop to four.

The cost per device is $5,000, but the city plans to reuse the one removed from the north loop.

He also reported that staff recommended double yellow, no passing lines for both loops.

"We feel that there will be no harm done in providing that striping," Williams said.

In a memo to the dais, City Attorney Ken Cuyler wrote that the council did not "have the authority or discretion to lower the speed limit" in the Dunes below 20 miles per hour, in his legal opinion.

At last month's meeting, some residents suggested lowering the speed limit.

Williams added that staff did not feel lowering the speed limit would have any further impact.

Other suggestions raised included more signage and setting up an empty police cruise.

Police Chief William Dalton explained that the cruiser would be pointless.

"People get used to it and just drive by it," he said.

"I think the signs would serve the same purpose as the empty patrol car," Dalton added.

Vice Mayor Mick Denham agreed with leaving it at the staff's recommendation.

"Let's wait and see what that does," he said.

Denham pointed to the city previously reducing the speed limit, then installing the four humps.

"We took a small step," he said. "Then I think we took another small step."

"I think that will also help effect the results we're trying to achieve here of making it safer," Denham added, referring to the newest suggestions from staff.

He noted that the situation could be re-examined in a few years.

"If we find it's still safe, we'll come back and talk about it again," Denham said.

According to Williams, the project is tentatively set to begin the week after the Fourth of July. He explained that the asphalt will have to cure before creating the striping and installing the humps.

Williams anticipated putting the devices back in place around Labor Day.

 
 

 

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