A project for 10 planned U.S. 41 roundabouts rolled ahead Monday when City Commissioners unanimously voted to submit a request for consolidated funding for five of the roundabouts to regional transportation planners.
The request includes “major project” funding for roundabouts on U.S. 41 from 14th Street to University Parkway. The funding request is part of an effort to fast-track the northern portion of the series of roundabouts planned for U.S. 41 along the bayfront.
“If we are successful in getting major project funding, we would be looking at the whole corridor,” said City Engineer Alex Davis Shaw.
Regional planners at the Sarasota Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) have said the consolidated funding request makes sense. “Informally, they think it makes sense,” said Davis Shaw.
Even though the big roundabouts are still several years away from fruition, Mayor Suzanne Atwell said the funding request marks and important milestone.
“This is very, very exciting,” Atwell said.
Roundabout advocate Rod Warner told commissioners that the vote Monday was a big step forward for a project that would transform U.S. 41 into a “multi-modal” corridor.
In other business, commissioners:
• Terminated a project that would have added on-street parking to Kumquat Court in the Rosemary District. Commissioners said they were concerned that adding on-street parking to both sides of the street would have made it difficult for emergency vehicles to travel down the street. The project would have added additional on-street parking to the area.
• Voted against creating a task force on homelessness.
• Voted to hold off on creating of an ad-hoc committee that would have
studied possible ordinances regulating downtown sound.