Residents living on dead-end street tired of traffic troubles

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NAPLES, Fla.- Around 1,200 people living on a dead-end street are pushing for change.

The residents say a nearby charter school and gas station across the street are adding so much traffic, it takes them almost 20 minutes just to leave the neighborhood.

WINK News cameras were rolling Monday morning on River Reach Drive as dozens of neighbors tried to leave their homes. We even caught drivers crossing the double yellow line just to get out.

“It’s so frustrating,” said neighbor Diana Vittorio. “It’s like I have to avoid this intersection.”

The problem is, there’s only one way out for the hundreds of residents because River Reach Drive is a dead-end street. When nearby RaceTrac and charter school Mason Academy came in, those extra cars created a gridlock for the neighborhood.

“It just doesn’t feel safe and I feel like nobody cares,” said Vittorio.

“It is so dangerous here,” said homeowner Laura Barsamian.

Barsamian is on the board for the homeowners association. She took her concerns to both the City of Naples and Collier County. To help with the congestion, Mason Academy changed its drop off route. But, Barsamian says that’s only a band aid and what the neighbors really need is another access road at the end of River Reach Drive.

“Get the access road,” said Barsamian. “We’ll all go out that way.

The problem is, who will pay for it? River Reach Drive is a county road, but it borders city property. Leaders at the City of Naples tell WINK News, building the access road would cost millions of dollars because of the stormwater system. That leaves the neighbors stuck, literally.

“It’s been going on a long time,” said Vittorio. “Too long and it’s just gonna get worse.”

The planning department for the city says there should be a feasability study done about the access road, but they don’t have any money in the budget for it.

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