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February 26, 2016 -- Signs are taking over the island of Sanibel.  My husband and I refer to the island as "Signibel" when we wish to express our exasperation over this phenomenon.

Tourists like some of our unique signs, such as "Watch for Low Flying Owls" and "Alligator Crossing."  Maybe those signs are okay.  Or do they create hazards when tourists pull off the road to photograph them?

Now Periwinkle Way is peppered with so many signs that it is impossible for drivers to read them all without being reckless.

Even on the outer edges of the island, like at Blind Pass, are signs that are unnecessary, even unreadable -- such as the one pictured below.


Obviously this one is a maintenance issue.  Perhaps if the City (or County?) cannot maintain the signs adequately, it should begin to remove them.  Signs like this are eyesores.  If such a sign is needed for public safety, then maintaining it in a readable state should be a priority.

I know how these signs proliferate.  I've seen it happen.  Someone shows up at a city council meeting, complaining about a particular problem or possible safety hazard, and the city's leaders, using all their wisdom and good intentions, decide that erecting new signs will solve or alleviate the problem.

But when there are so many signs that one can't read them all, they cancel each other out. Maybe it is time to start over, remove all but the basic traffic signs, and have professional landscape architects decide on and design new signs.

Do we care enough about the beauty and safety of Sanibel to be so bold?

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