Authorities cracking down on speeders on new roadway
By JOHN OSBORNE
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Traffic-enforcement officials are keeping a sharp eye out for speeders on the newly opened Imperial Parkway in Bonita Springs.
In the first three weeks that the parkway was open, at least 38 tickets and 14 warnings have been issued – with at least six motorists cited for too aggressively putting the pedal to the metal, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
At least 24 tickets have also been handed out for failure to obey traffic lights or posted signs.
Lt. Robert Forrest of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said newly opened roadways always undergo increased scrutiny.
“The traffic-enforcement unit pays especially close attention to newer roads,” he said. “Rest assured, we’ll be targeting Imperial Parkway and ensuring a high visibility of enforcement along it.”
Forrest said a big part of the problem is that speed-happy motorists often look at new roads like an undiscovered racetrack.
“The message here is that you shouldn’t try to take advantage of the new roads, because we’re going to be there to get you,” he said. “Whenever a new road opens, it seems like people always try to push the limits.”
Imperial Parkway stretches one mile between Bonita Beach Road and West Terry Street in Bonita Springs, where the posted speed limit is 35 mph. Overall, it’s 5.2 miles long, has a top speed limit of 45 mph and serves as a corridor between Lee and Collier counties.
In the wake of the recent speeding crackdown, Bonita Councilman Richard Ferreira said he doesn’t think Imperial Parkway has enough speed-limit signs for motorists.
“I brought it up at the last Council meeting because I think we need speed-limit signs every 500 yards,” Ferreira said. “When you get on the parkway from Bonita Beach Road, there’s only one sign stating that the limit is 35 mph. After that, it’s another 2 ½ miles before another sign tells you the speed limit’s 45 mph. That’s not enough.”
While Ferreira believes the speed limits are proper for the area, he said more signage is definitely needed.
“I wouldn’t want to see the speed limit increased, but we do need more signs both north and south,” he said. “People have to be reminded what the speed limit is. You’ve got two lanes in each direction with very few intersections and there are no front yards you’re driving past, so it’s not like you know you’re going through a residential area. People have a tendency not to keep their eye on the ball in those situations, and if the Lee County Sheriff’s Office is going to be issuing citations for speeding, people should be aware of what the speed limit is.”
Bonita City Manager Gary Price said his office is looking into the situation.
“I’ve asked the county’s engineer to take a look at Imperial Parkway and determine what signs are there and what signs should be added, so we’re in the process of that now,” Price said.
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Contact John Osborne at firstname.lastname@example.org.