Longboat plans future look of Gulf of Mexico Drive
Editor & Publisher
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.