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Sarasota Friday, Apr. 4, 2014 3 years ago

City staff seeks approval of Ringling roundabout

by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

The City Commission has already endorsed a series of six roundabouts along U.S. 41 as part of its Bayfront Connectivity Plan. On Monday, staff will seek approval of a seventh, located at Ringling Boulevard.

In October, commissioners asked staff to seek public input regarding a potential roundabout at U.S. 41 and Ringling Boulevard. At that meeting, held in February, city engineer Alex DavisShaw and roundabout engineer Michael Wallwork said an additional roundabout would offer safety advantages, improved traffic flow and better access for cyclists and pedestrians.

Attendees at that meeting voiced little opposition to the proposed roundabout, though several people requested clearer signage indicating how drivers and pedestrians should proceed. According to agenda documents for Monday’s meeting, six of the 21 attendees responded to a form asking about the roundabout.

Four of those people supported the roundabout, and the other two said they wanted to learn more.
In addition to the public meeting, Wallwork’s firm Alternate Street Design evaluated the intersection’s potential for a roundabout. According to Alternate Street Design’s study, a two-lane roundabout is projected to provide acceptable levels-of-operation at the intersection.

“A roundabout is more attractive and significantly increases the safety and accessibility of pedestrians and bicyclists between the Marina and the downtown,” the study said.

If commissioners add the Ringling roundabout to the Bayfront Connectivity Plan, the proposal will be submitted to the Florida Department of Transportation for further evaluation. Roundabouts at 10th Street, 14th Street, Fruitville Road, Gulfstream Avenue, Main Street and Orange Avenue are already in development as part of the plan.

Also at Monday’s commission meeting:

• Mayor Shannon Snyder will lead a discussion on a potential charter amendment that would place a 3% cap on tax rate increases relative to the prior year’s budget.

• Commissioners will discuss alleged Sunshine Law violations regarding the structure of the Independent Police Advisory Panel.

• City Manager Tom Barwin will provide an update to commissioners regarding homelessness issues.

The full agenda can be found at the city’s website.

Contact David Conway at [email protected].

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