Ideas to get traffic flowing again
Season in Southwest Florida means gridlock on the roads. Precious time ticks away while you sit in a stationary car stuck behind hundreds if not thousands of others on U.S. 41, Interstate 75 or one of many jammed east-west corridors.
And relief might not be coming anytime soon.
Counties charge impact fees to new businesses to, in part, offset the effects of the extra traffic coming to and from the development. That money goes to build new roads and expand existing ones.
Those impact fees went down in Lee and Collier counties during the most recent recession. But as the economy has rebounded, the fees have yet to rise back to the levels seen before the bust, as a recent Gulfshore Business story highlighted.
So that means less money for relieving congestion. But more and better roads aren’t necessarily the only solution.
The idea of a commuter rail system is on the radar of municipal governments in Bonita Springs, Estero and Fort Myers, as Gulfshore Business details. Still, that’s likely more than a decade away, at least, from coming to fruition.
No easy solution to congestion exists, but the Los Angeles Times — which covers an area with traffic so crippling it makes Colonial Boulevard at 5 p.m. look like a desolate highway — suggests four possible fixes:
1. Eliminating gas taxes and replacing the revenue with tolls that go up at peak times, thus discouraging rush hour traffic.
2. Giving tax incentives to companies that stagger start times or let employees work from home.
3. Turning carpool lanes into truck-only lanes.
4. Making it easier for kids to walk or bike to school.
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