Drivers continue to risk tickets at Colonial Blvd intersections

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Photo by WINK News.

Fed up over traffic lights, drivers in Lee County are making illegal U-turns as their only way to get around bumper-to-bumper traffic on Colonial Boulevard.

One driver doesn’t make the illegal turn but has a theory about why people decide to break the law.

“It’s horrible,” Belinda Pagan said. “The lights aren’t connected, and it just gets backed up.”

WINK News’ reported about the intersection near Colonial and Sommerset Drive by the Midpoint Bridge Wednesday.

The intersection continues to cause backed-up traffic — almost to Summerlin Road, a mile down the road. In fact, many drivers reached out to WINK News after the story aired regarding concerns with the intersection. So, our team tested the theories presented by local drivers.

Colonial and Summerlin are less crowded before rush hour traffic begins.

“It gets backed up and then you have cars that all try to get into your lane,” Pagan said. “It’s very dangerous.”

Pagan said this stretch of the road gets “pretty bad” come 5 p.m. every evening.

It’s especially busy if a driver is waiting to turn left from Summerlin onto Colonial and head toward Cape Coral.

“It just gets backed up beyond the Royal Palm thing here because it’s just so congested,” Pagan said.

In the previous report, drivers made the illegal U-turn at the intersection to avoid added trip time. That accounts for more than 100 drivers breaking the law in one hour.

More of the same continues. This is happening even though Fort Myers Police Department said it has patrol cars on the road with officers ticketing driver who are making this illegal turn.

During the time period WINK News was on scene, no patrol cars were in sight.

“The lights aren’t connected, and it just gets backed up,” Pagan said.

Lee County told WINK News there is no clear and easy solution to mitigate this continued issue.

Drivers on Colonial are giving signal timing priority. Making the green turn light longer would mean everyone already backed up on Colonial would have to wait longer.

It took WINK News team members about seven minutes to drive through the intersection on Colonial.  

The county told WINK News it is conducting a study to get traffic on Colonial to move more effectively than it is now.  

WINK News asked Fort Myers police if they had seen the Wednesday report by WINK News on the illegal U-turn and slow-moving traffic, also asking about how many drivers have been ticketed for the illegal U-turn, but there has not been a response.  

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