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Crosswalks could add signage, safety to Key

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

According to the Florida Department of Transportation, Longboat Key’s main roadway — Gulf of Mexico Drive — is safe for both drivers and pedestrians.

Despite that evaluation, FDOT engineer Elkay Nadin told the Town Commission last Monday that it is willing to fund and install five crosswalks at strategic locations due to “high pedestrian demand.”

Longboat experiences about two crashes per year on GMD and the FDOT told the Town it “Does not have a safety concern per se.”

The FDOT said it could fund the short-term improvements.

Each new crosswalk will need about 10 additional sings to alert drivers in each direction and for the pedestrians.

Due to high pedestrian demand, a crosswalk is recommended north of Monroe Street, which is located just north of the Diplomat condominium. For the same reason, a pedestrian crosswalk is also recommended at least 275 feet south or 250 north of Bayport Way, which is located near the mid-key trailer parks. FDOT also recommends another crosswalk between Club Longboat and Seagrape Inn. Other recommended crosswalk locations include: between Banyan Bay and Centre Shoppes as well as between Spanish Drive and Binnacle Point Drive.

Commissioner Jack Duncan asked if lowering the speed limit on Gulf of Mexico Drive might make the road safer.

The Commission was told that road speeds are calculated on the 85th percentile of what unregulated drivers would drive such a road. If the speed limit were lowered to 35 MPH, for instance, it would likely provoke increased passing which is a crash contributor. So lower speed limits only works until it drops out of the norm.

The FDOT study and recommendations were made as a result of a request from Town commissioners who previously complained of excessive signage on Gulf of Mexico Drive as well as inconsistent or lack of lighting in some stretches of the ten-mile road, which spans the length of Longboat Key.

 

 

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1 Response for “Crosswalks could add signage, safety to Key”

  1. William Kary says:

    Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
    Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
    Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

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