Since the publicity over the proposed new bridge design and routing, we have received many comments. We have found no one who disagrees that the proposed new bridge should route traffic east of Gulf Breeze, either completely, or as one of two exits. It is obvious to anyone who objectively looks at the traffic problems in Gulf Breeze. You would be hard pressed to find any residential occupant of Gulf Breeze who would want the current flow of traffic to continue through the city let alone increase as it will.
So, what have the Gulf Breeze mayors and elected officials done to support a more easterly landing? They have actively but quietly opposed it. The reason: They act exclusively for a handful of business owners and commercial property owners who see their values and revenues declining if traffic is reduced.
What do they do about the traffic they want to keep coming through the Gulf Breeze? They engage in a fiction that they are protecting access moving across Highway 98 by refusing to regulate the lights in favor of expediting the mass of traffic moving through the city. They claim they owe no concern to transient travelers moving through the city — and of course the ticketing of that traffic is a major revenue source for the little city.
Want to inquire? Ask the Mayor of Gulf Breeze what efforts they have undertaken with the FDOT to support a landing east of the heart of the city. Ask any other Gulf Breeze elected official. They will all tell you the same thing: they can’t do anything about it — not even to suggest to FDOT it is an insane traffic movement solution to require all Highway 98 traffic to move through the city.
So, the little tail wags the big dog, not only against the population of Pensacola, the tourists who want to visit the beaches, but the residents of Gulf Breeze, as well.