Capri residents upset about careless drivers
"My heart is still pounding, and I'm still shaking," wrote Capri resident Kathy Kurtz to the Capri Coconuttele. "Holy crap! The Vette was heading south. I was northbound in left turn lane with a gray car in front of me.
"Another missing car was in front of gray. Missing car bolted the left turn onto Capri. Red Vette swerves to miss him aiming at gray car in front of me. Swerved more into north bound lanes to miss us but still hammers gray car. They both spin back toward me on my passenger side. I couldn't believe I didn't get slammed but felt a side swipe. Other northbound cars all got stopped. I got out to call 911 and check on the cars in the accident. I realize my car was untouched! I'm stunned. Both drivers minor injuries. Passenger lady in red vette has big gash I guess but sounds like she will be OK. Thank God!
"Btw. Missing driver on Capri sucks and needs to be arrested. I'm feeling so thankful and lucky that both I and my car are perfectly fine. I feel awful for those in the accident. Please be safe at that intersection," Kurtz continued.
Not the first
The accident described above took place on Oct. 24 at the busy intersection of State Road 951/Collier Boulevard and Country Road 952/Capri Boulevard. This is not the first of the numerous accidents at this intersection. Some have involved fatalities and life-altering injuries for residents of the Isles of Capri and others traveling to or from Marco Island.
The latest accident at the same CR 952 intersection took place on Friday, June 26, at around 4 p.m.
"Another bad accident at the intersection of 951 and Capri Blvd," wrote John McNicholas, Capri resident to the Coconuttele that afternoon after being held up in traffic for four hours while emergency responders cleared an overturned vehicle.
The intersection has Capriers worried about their safety and that of their friends and family who visit them. Warnings are continuously received on the Coconuttele as numerous "near misses" are reported almost weekly.
Residents have begun offering suggestions for improvements to make the accident-prone intersection of SR 951 and CR 952 safer.
Last week, the following suggestions have been submitted by email to the heads of the Departments of Transportation in both Collier County and the state of Florida in hopes that they will dispatch personnel to further investigate and make corrections that will protect life, limb and property.
• "Monitor speed and passing through the red light especially at peak times when travelers are going to and from work both north and south bound," is a common suggestion made frequently.
• "Move the indicated stop – spot or line painted on the highway for those of us making a left turn off of Capri onto Collier Boulevard. If this would be moved back another 10-15 feet then those making a right turn have a clear view of the oncoming traffic," wrote Dean Portinga, Capri resident.
• "Allow left turns into Capri from the north bound lane coming from Marco only on a green arrow. Currently, left turns can be made on green at any time, and many cannot judge the speed when vehicles are traveling at 60 plus miles an hour," wrote several who travel this road to work daily.
• "People also seem to be confused with who has the right-of-way in the south bound lane on 951, and the north bound lane turning left from 951 coming from Marco Island onto 952," was the suggestion of Eddie Duane, Capri resident. He further reports having seen signage that would instruct motorists to yield on green to traffic turning left.
Another dangerous stretch of road for residents and visitors to Capri is CR 952/Capri Boulevard along the straight-of-way and at the first 20 mph curve. Jim Hughes, resident reports seeing three at this same location over the last few years.
Suggestions for curbing speeders, which seem to be the most common cause of accidents on the isles, was to add speed bumps. These have been frowned upon by most, so an alternative suggestion has been to make some of the straight-a ways an all stop, much the same as found on Marco Island and already on Capri at Pelican and Capri Boulevard. Two additional locations have been suggested.
One at the corner of Capri Boulevard and Pago Pago Drive, closest to the Isles of Capri Fire Station 90, restaurant and church parking, making this a heavily populated area, particularly in season. The second is to make the intersection of Capri Boulevard and Trinidad Street, next to Capri Park which houses the children's playground, a three-way stop just before the curve where accidents have been more frequent.
Residents feel confident that both the state DOT and the Collier County DOT departments will hear their pleas for help, and consider residents suggestions to improve safety for all.
Contact Ann Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org