Lowering speed limits back on Cape council agenda

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CAPE CORAL, Fla.- The City of Cape Coral is still weighing the option of lowering speed limits in residential neighborhoods from 30 to 25 mph.

City leaders will pick up the discussion once again at Monday’s council meeting, after months of traffic studies and revisions to the plan. Under the new plan, more than two dozen streets that serve as connectors to major roadways would remain at 30 mph, while the rest would change to 25 mph.

“I’m very concerned about the children that get off the school bus in the middle of the street and they have to walk to their house along the street,” said Barry Ratzel who lives on Southeast 16th Place, right off Del Prado Boulevard.

The street is one of more than two dozen connector roads that would keep its 30 mph speed limit. Ratzel says drivers almost never adhere to the posted speed limit, and he isn’t convinced lowering it anywhere in the city would make a difference.

“As far as any enforcement, I’ve never seen any,” added Ratzel, saying he believes that’s the root of the problem. “I’ve estimated people going over 50 mph. Not average, but at night you’ll hear people on motorcycles that’ll do over 50, you’ll see cars that are doing 40, 45.”

The Cape Coral Police Department says enforcing a lower limit would be challenging, especially since the city has about 50 fewer officers now than it did during the boom a few years ago.

City Councilman Jim Burch, who’s spearheading the proposal, says it’s all about making roads safer.

“At least demonstrate that we really do care about the kids on the streets, the bicyclists, the elderly that are walking and everybody else,” said Burch.

Roughly $100,000 in taxpayer money would be used to replace about 900 speed limit signs in Cape Coral. Council members are expected to vote on the plan Feb. 8.

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