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Will Sarasota roundabout worsen LBK traffic snarls?

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

Nothing is putting more pressure on public officials than residents’ sick and frustrated over the ever-inncreasing traffic. And the center of the traffic universe in Sarasota is the intersection of Gulfstream Avenue and U.S. 41 where the traffic eminating from Longboat and Lido Keys dump onto U.S. 41 causing backups for miles often all the way to St. Armands Circle.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is planning to alleviate the situation with the construction of a roundabout, but that solution has sent waves of fear through the Longboat Commission and many of its residents.

The FDOT is holding an open house next week from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 27 in the Municipal Auditorium at 801 N. Tamiami Trail in downtown Sarasota.

Concerned residents are encouraged to ask questions and offer their opinions to the FDOT on the roundabout, which the FDOT says will simply help relieve the congestion.

FDOT maintains that the roundabout will enhance pedestrian and bicycle connectivity between Sarasota’s downtown and the Bayfront through a series of crossings. Furthermore, the state agency says the roundabout will improve vehicular traffic flow because in their transportation analysis, more vehicles will be able to travel through the intersection than using the current method of traffic signals.

The City of Sarasota is currently installing roundabouts at 10th Street and 14th Street on U.S. 41 and the creation of the larger roundabout at Gulfstream is all part of a master plan to improve connectivity as well as functionality.

Longboat Key Mayor Terry Gans has advocated that FDOT and the City of Sarasota carefully analyze and consider its data because of the extreme impact the intersection places on travel to and from Longboat Key.

Longboat Key officials say they are supportive of enhancing Sarasota’s pedestrian connectivity but not at the expense of any increase of traffic congestion.

The timeline, which is still in the planning stages, calls for the design of the roundabout to be completed in Spring 2019 and construction to follow by year’s end.

If an interested resident wishes to comment but cannot attend the meeting next week, email FDOT Project Manager Joshua Jester at joshua.jester@dot.state.fl.us

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Longboat Key News

1 Response for “Will Sarasota roundabout worsen LBK traffic snarls?”

  1. Drew says:

    It’s very easy to see that a roundabout at that intersection will not work. There simply isn’t enough space. The new Westin and the Raymond James building are built right up to the sidewalks. Traffic circles, aka roundabouts, require significantly more real estate that traffic lights. Is there a sane mind anywhere in FDOT? This is a ridiculous notion.

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