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Sanibel City Council looking to discuss toll increase with Lee County Commissioners

May 12, 2017
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

A conversation that took place in the Sanibel City Council chambers regarding options it has in terms of increasing tolls for cash payers will now go to the Lee County Commission.

Mayor Kevin Ruane made a motion, which was approved unanimously, to have a conversation with the Lee County Commission to discuss tolls, options for raising it during peak times and entire time of the day, for cash payers.

Ruane said the conversation came up during the city's last Traffic Communica-tions Work Group meetings, which was held to continue to look at what the city has available and what it can do today, and potentially tomorrow, for traffic. He said the discussion stemmed around technology, data collection, behavior modification and hardscapes.

One of the conversations resulted in changing the cash toll price, with one of the figures up to $10.

"I don't mind having a conversation. Obviously with the discussion regarding this, some people are going to be really upset about the increase, but it seems to be consistent with a lot of cities throughout the United States that they charge a premium at peak times," Ruane said of cash tolls.

City Councilmember Mick Denham who said it seems that the cash tolls would impact the daytrippers. He said he thinks it would be a good discussion to have.

Ruane said the conversation has to be with the commissioners because they receive a percentage of the toll money. A local agreement would then have to be changed if all parties were in favor.

"There are many steps to go through in the process," he said.

Mike Miller, a member of the Committee of the Islands, said that group supports the idea of variable pricing for cash toll payers, but they think the tolls should be increased not by the time of the day, but the seasons of the year.

He said having an entire cash toll rate for February and March, April or January could significantly improve traffic congestion at those periods of time.



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