To ease parking congestion during a downtown improvement project, the city of Sarasota is offering free parking in the surface lot at Laurel Street and Orange Avenue, adjacent to the Burns Square Business District area.
The parking lot is now open to the public and is free of charge for the next six months with no time restrictions, although overnight parking will be prohibited.
Crews have completed repair work to the lot, including patching potholes and striping parking spaces. The lot will be free through July.
With 63 parking spaces within walking distance to the Burns Square Business District, it is anticipated the free surface lot will provide visitors with easy access to restaurants and retail stores while nearby Ringling Boulevard undergoes construction.
The intersections of Ringling Boulevard and Palm Avenue and Ringling Boulevard and Pineapple Avenue are being transformed into modern roundabouts, which will reduce fuel emissions while creating a visually appealing downtown. The roundabouts will feature palm trees and plants, accented with red brick pavers.
The project also includes additional on-street parking. A total of 37 angled parking spaces will be created on Ringling Boulevard, with 20 spaces near Palm Avenue and 17 spaces near Pineapple Avenue. Ringling Boulevard is expected to reopen to traffic by June.
The city is also continuing to partner with the Green Hopper, a low speed vehicle service, to provide complimentary shuttle service around the Burns Square Business District.
For more information and to register for project updates, visit www.SarasotaGov.com or contact project manager Neil Gaines at 365-2200, ext. 6309.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].