Some Lee County intersections could be replaced with roundabouts

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LEE COUNTY, Fla.- It’s your money and $400,000 of it might be spent to increase safety, and decrease your wait times, at intersections.  A new study, funded by the Florida Department of Transportation, would look at 18 intersections in Lee County, with the possibility of turning them into roundabouts.

Drivers navigating their way through the intersection of McGregor Bouleverad and Colonial Boulevard often find themselves waiting. But a new study could lead to major changes, and a faster road trip, in the form of a roundabout.

McGregor and Colonial is one of 18 intersections, from Lehigh Acres, Fort Myers, to Bonita Springs, that has the possibility of being turned into a roundabout.

Lee County’s Metropolitan Planning Organization targeted these, in part, because of their long wait times. “Just even a delay standpoint. Some of them back up. We’re trying to look at some other options to look at,” said MPO Executive Director Don Scott.

There are some roundabouts in Lee County already, such as one on SE 24th Avenue in Cape Coral.  According to Lee County documents, roundabouts reduce fatal crashes at intersections by 90 percent, and injuries by 76 percent.

But what about the learning curve for drivers? The county is prepared.  “Part of this process is obviously having some in some locations where people can get used to them,” explained Scott.  “These are modern roundabouts designed to move traffic in a certain way. Not just fit in space that’s provided.”

The study, and funds, will have to first be approved. The Lee County MPO meeting will take place Friday at 9 a.m., in Cape Coral city council chambers. Then, if approved, each intersection will be analyzed.

According to the county, roundabouts would save thousands in electrical and maintenance costs in the long run, because you would not have a traffic signal to pay for.

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