Manasota Key (Storch Report) — When you notice an uptick in traffic, people on the beaches, retail and food stores jammed, and the tourist a’s flock to the shoreline for sunsets here on Manasota Key, you know the snowbirds are back.
And, if it’s this way on this sleepy, spit of an island, it is worse North and South of us here in Southwest Florida.
It is then that grumpy old full-timers go into their hermit shells and complain. Old people shouldn’t be in other old people’s way. It’s a down right discourteous and inconvenient.
Traffic increases as do accidents, and there is a 30 percent increase in traffic as tourists and winter residents return for the season. It is estimated that this adds tens of thousands of additional cars each day.
We get our share here on the Key, but it is no where near as bad as it is North and South of us in Sarasota, Fort Myers or Naples.
We have seen it during this holiday week but it will increase between January and April, but thereafter it is then that grumpy old men can come out of their hermit shells and enjoy the island once again.
Apparently we will be seeing the sharpest increases in traffic since the Great Recession, the result of rebounding population and a new surge in large-scale development.
One of the measures of congestion is the impact fee.
For example in Sarasota County the fees were $19,745, 712 in 2006, it dropped down to $5,619,660 in 2007 and in 2013 jumped back up to $9,110,255.
I think I should stop taking sunset pictures like the one above this column if I want to come out of my hermit shell in season.