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Longboat Key Letters – Week ending December 22, 2017

Longboat Key News encourages Letters to the Editor on timely issues. Please email to: letters@lbknews.com or mail to PO Box 8001, Longboat Key, FL 34228. We also print letters sent to Town Hall that address Longboat Key issues. We reserve the right to edit.

Water leak problem

To: Town Commission

I have an ongoing concern and problem with the water/sewage utilities located on my residential property. Years ago when the town of Longboat Key was dirt roads and small cottages the town talked the owners of my property into granting an easement for water and sewage from Jungle Queen Way through my property to service homes built on Companion Way. It was cheaper for the town to not finish the utilities on the recognized street (Companion Way) and simply cut through my yard to connect to water and sewage. Since that time the street has developed with new construction and a huge development at the end of Companion Way. There is water and sewage on the full street now.

Through out the years there has been numerous water line breaks and sewage back ups especially with the requirements for a backflow device. My yard now has three meter boxes, three backflow devices and a large pump station monitoring station. In short my yard looks like an industrial zone. Whenever there is a problem with the services for the people on Companion Way it is my yard that gets dug up or the workman’s trucks parked trying to fix the problems for Companion Way.

Currently there is a water leak in the line that services one of the homes on Companion Way. This leak has been non-stop for the past three-and-a-half to four weeks.  Because the meter is on Jungle Queen, my property, the people who are serviced were completely unaware of the problem. I told them that I believe there is a problem because I can constantly hear their water running. The public works department knows there is another leak and still nothing is done.

My property value is diminished due to the short cut the town took many years ago. I have noticed a lot of settling in the area of the three black flow devices due to various leaks from other people’s services. This current leak, as stated, has been going on now for three to four weeks maybe more as of this letter.  The water is going somewhere and I am concerned about the undermining of my foundation.

It would be better for the homes on Companion Way to be serviced from their street instead of this ridiculous shoddy current setup. If the utilities were set up properly at least they would be able to turn their water off instead of the great waste the town seems to accept. For the past ten years or so I have brought this subject up to the publics work department. I have either been ignored or given baseless excuses. Of course the only one damaged by this set up is me. I do not think it is unreasonable to have the town upgrade the water/ sewage to normally accepted standards on Companion Way. Just because it was done wrong in the first place, doesn’t mean it has to stay wrong forever.

George Tagliente

Longboat Key

 

Sarasota/Manatee Barrier Islands Traffic Study

To: Steering Committee/Interested Parties

The Sarasota/Manatee Barrier Islands Traffic Study is examining the feasibility of improving the overall infrastructure, including traffic operations and circulation, on the Sarasota/Manatee barrier islands as well as island-to-mainland connections. Phase 1 of the traffic study is complete.  Phase 2 of the project is underway and includes observations, collection of traffic data, review of land use, parking studies, etc.

Steering Committee Meeting No. 3 is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Monday, January 22, 2018 at the Longboat Island Chapel, 6200 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, Florida, 34228.  The meeting will review the materials distributed at the Steering Committee meeting on November 9, 2017 including the traffic evaluation findings for all the islands, identified congestion “hotspots” and the parking evaluation.  The meeting will also present the results of the public comment from the December 5, 2017 public meeting.

Kris Cella

Public Involvement Task Manager

On behalf of

Tanya N. King, P.E., CPM

Traffic Studies Engineer

Florida Department of Transportation

 

Reduce development on Longboat Key

To: Commissioner Jack Daly

Heartfelt thanks for your public service on behalf of our Town.

We wanted to be sure to communicate to you our strongest possible opposition to all portions of the Colony redevelopment plan that would increase the human load on our magnificent island paradise.

We are particularly shocked to learn – if we understand correctly – that the most recent proposal still contains a “convention center,” “banquet facility” or similar aspect that would significantly increase (and make absolutely unbearable) the traffic and other human toll on our Key.

We would have thought that the voters’ unmistakable opposition to the other recent “development” proposal referendums would have sent the clearest possible message to developers (and policy makers) that the residents of the Key wish to reduce, rather than increase, such activity.

We hope that we can count on you to do everything you can to prevent this proposed spoilage of what surely is one of the most bucolic and wonderful communities on Earth.

Very best wishes for a wonderful holiday, and an enjoyable and successful 2018, and thanks again for your service!

Henry and Donna Rae

Longboat Key

 

To: Henry Smith

Thank you for your comments. Please consider personally presenting them during an upcoming, to be scheduled P&Z public hearing, which will be timely noticed .

Jack Daly

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

To: Commissioner Jack Daly

You’re welcome, and I hope my schedule will allow me to do that!

Henry Smith

Longboat Key

 

US 41 from Ringling Blvd to Main St- Public Meeting

To: FDOT Project Development Engineer II David Turley

Following up my discussions with your staff during the public meeting yesterday, I offer the following comments with respect to Alternative B, which would convert the existing intersections of US41 at Ringling Blvd and Main St to roundabouts. Each roundabout consists of 4 separate pedestrian walkways on US41, for a total of 8 at just these 2 locations,( also as discussed, there are 6  similar additional roundabouts under FDOT consideration with similar multiple pedestrian crossings on this US41 corridor). As I’m sure you know, the focus of the Barrier Island Traffic Study (BITS), is to alleviate automobile traffic congestions on the barrier islands, especially  the traffic on and off the south of Longboat Key, affected by and  adjacent to this corridor. While these roundabouts are obviously intended to address automobile traffic issues, their focus is also on pedestrian mobility across US41 via these crosswalks, which, if not balanced with barrier island traffic concerns, present issues that need to be addressed . Accordingly, I suggested, and continue to do so, that FDOT should consider replacing such crosswalks, and including elevated walkways over Us41, recognizing the involved increased costs and related ADA regulation issues. E.g.; one elevated walkway in between the 2 proposed roundabouts would eliminate the need for the 8 above- mentioned walkways (understanding that it would not be as pedestrian-convenient), while completely eliminating pedestrian interference of automobile traffic flow at each of these roundabouts. I understand that FDOT has considered these options, and I would appreciate your providing me with estimated costs for just this one elevated walkway, to assist in evaluating such option for this project and perhaps the others on the corridor (One additional suggestion that I made yesterday is for FDOT to consider using the more current 2017 BITS traffic flow data, especially for peak seasonal periods, with respect to the US41 corridor roundabout projects). Thank you in advance for your continued efforts and I look forward to your response.

Jack Daly

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

US 41 from Ringling Blvd to Main St- Public Meeting

To: Commissioner Jack Daly

Thank you for providing your comment regarding pedestrian crossings across US 41 between Ringling Boulevard and Main Street.

• As part of this PD&E study, a grade separated bicycle/pedestrian walkway was evaluated.  It was determined that non-vehicular users would be more likely to cross US 41 at undesignated at-grade locations rather than utilize a grade separated walkway.  Additionally, due to the limited right-of-way available along US 41 between Ringling Boulevard and Main Street, constructability is expected to be an issue.  For an overpass, due to the limited right-of-way, either an elevator or escalator would be required which would result in a substantial increase in construction costs, as well as operation and maintenance costs.  From this evaluation, it was determined that a grade separated bicycle/pedestrian walkway is not recommended.

• Travel times resulting in Alternative B (roundabouts) are expected to decrease as compared to Alternative A (signalized intersections).  Traffic delay experienced with Alternative B at Ringling Boulevard and Main Street along US 41 will be reduced on average by 13 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

• Lastly, pedestrian signals are proposed as part of Alternative B.  Controlling pedestrian movements across US 41 will allow for a better progression of vehicular traffic (as opposed to vehicular traffic yielding any time a pedestrian or bicycle enters a crosswalk, such as at St. Armands Circle).  While some vehicular delay will be experienced when pedestrian signals are activated, the delays for Alternative B are still anticipated to be less than the delays experienced for Alternative A.  Also, keep in mind that the pedestrian crossings with Alternative B are two stage crossings, meaning that the pedestrians cross one direction of traffic at a time with a separate set of pedestrian signals for each stage.  This significantly shortens the time each direction of traffic is stopped for pedestrians as compared to the crosswalks at the signalized intersections.

David C. Turley, PE

Project Development Engineer II

FDOT District 1



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