Traffic changes are in the works to make one Cape Coral intersection a little safer. On Tuesday, the Del Prado Boulevard and De Navarra Parkway intersection changed with a new, temporary traffic pattern.
That intersection is notorious for crashes and was one of the many things the mayor of Cape Coral addressed in his plan for the city’s future.
The temporary transformation of the De Navarra and Del Prado intersection means drivers cannot approach the median on Del Prado and turn left. The new intersection allows for right turns only.
“This intersection has had so many accidents I can’t even count ’em,” said David Lukasik, owner of The Bagel Factory.
Lukasik’s been here since 2008. He knows the intersection needs a traffic light.
“I’m a small mom-and-pop business. I struggled through the recession. I struggled through the pandemic. I struggled through several issues. And now I’ve got to deal with this for what a year? That’s just absolutely insane,” Lukasik said.
Crews spent Tuesday at the intersection putting paint down and installing flexible stakes to guide drivers through the new traffic pattern.
The goal of this new traffic flow is to keep drivers safe and prevent crashes like the four-car pile-up a week ago.
“With the channelized movement, they’ll be able to pull into the intersection and only look at oncoming traffic in order to make their safe turn,” said Mike Ilczyszyn, Cape Coral’s public works director.
“I’m glad to see it. It’s an inconvenience, but it’s needed. It’ll save lives,” said Jack Smedes, of Cape Coral.
Putting a light at the intersection’s been on the drawing board in Cape Coral since 2005. That’s when the city gave the OK to a planned development project and a traffic light when warranted.
Cape Coral did not deem the signal necessary until November 2019. The city says the light should be in place no later than early 2023.