Longboat plans future look of Gulf of Mexico Drive

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Roundabouts. Landscape medians. Shaded sidewalks. Enhanced lighting.

All of the above will be discussed on Monday when the Longboat Key Town Commission decides how the future of Gulf of Mexico Drive (GMD) will evolve.

The effort is a continuation of the town’s goal to not only enhance GMD, but turn the 10-mile thoroughfare into a signature corridor.

This work continues and builds on recommendations made by the Urban Land Institute in 2013 when the town paid for suggestions on how to best improve the lifestyle and property values of Longboat Key residents.

With the utility undergrounding project, which will cost residents between $40 million and $50 million, the town wants to capitalize on the opportunity removing all of the utility poles from GMD will present relative to landscaping and bicycling and walking enhancements.

Safety may also be a consideration since there will be suggestions of special pavement treatment at crosswalks and landscaped mid-road respite areas.

Also, the conversation on Monday will touch on the de rigueur idea of installing roundabouts at Broadway and GMD as well as Longboat Club Road and GMD.

Town Manager Dave Bullock will present a Power Point at the 1 p.m. workshop on Monday that also points out major enhancements in addition to the roundabouts to the entryways to the community. Part of the effort is enhancing landscaping as well as the gateway signage.

Bullock will also talk about 10-foot wide multi-use paths that could be lit and separated from GMD through landscaping that could also provide shade.

Currently, most of the sidewalks are in full sun and residents have complained about the harrowing experience of walking in the afternoon, especially during the summer.

If desired, Bullock says the town commission should instruct staff to further investigate the sufficiency of the right-of-ways to achieve these goals as well as perform additional design elements and stormwater analysis.

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4 Responses for “Longboat plans future look of Gulf of Mexico Drive”

  1. What's on Second? says:

    Let’s just bite the bullet, raise taxes, and BUILD THAT BRIDGE. Heck, even make it a TOLL bridge in addition to being a TALL bridge, that way the town can pay for the upkeep while retiring the bride bonds. Or we could actually see how those who benefit from our largesse (Manatee and Sarasota Counties) and insist on them kicking it some of OUR dough. Bring in across the bay at either SR 70 roundabout at 75th street, or perhaps further south at Florida Boulevard. in 2005, the town celebrated it’s 50th birthday with a cleverly written play about a proposed bridge at St Mary Star of the Sea even. Bradenton Beach doesn’t care about us, nor do the merchants at St. Armands – time for action – heck, even a ferry merits a try now. Just stop deliberating or kicking the can down the road – just DO SOMETHING.

  2. Joey C says:

    A `signature corridor ‘, why? Most citizens want to get to their appointments and back home without being stuck in traffic at either end of our island. Study that, actually maybe stop studying and take action!

    More turning lanes mean less passing lane, so how will we get past the folks who insist on driving at 27 miles per hour? A roundabout is an inefficient, outmoded traffic control that the rest of the civilized world has abandoned. The rendering is pretty but the `T` intersections at Broadway and Publix work fine.

    Give us efficiency, you’re spending taxpayers money! Wider bike lanes, better sidewalks, sure. We don’t need a fancy highway to sit in traffic and miss our doctor appointment!

  3. Renae Farrah says:

    Please keep bike paths and keep separate from pedestrians. Longboat has some serious bikers that
    Come to enjoy the dedicated bike path, including me. While there has been some conflicts with
    vehicles ,mixing bike lanes with a multi- use ( pedestrian- strollers- dog walkers etc ) is a guarantee of disaster! 18-22 mph Bikers belong on the road. What u have is good . Don’t change please . Dogs,
    Kids and bikes don’t work.

  4. Graham Forbes says:

    Longboat Key needs to decide if it is a residential area that currently has a road running through it, or if it is a fast road that happens to have residential property beside it.
    More than 70% of traffic is thru-traffic which brings no benefit to what used to be a peaceful community.
    Isn’t it time this was addressed?

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