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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010 5 years ago

Engineer calls traffic increase 'minimal'

by: Kurt Schultheis Managing Editor

The Longboat Key Club and Resort’s traffic engineer told the Town Commission Wednesday, Jan. 13 that Gulf of Mexico Drive is not close to approaching its traffic capacity.

“Traffic on this roadway has been falling for years,” said Richard Stiles of Grimail Crawford Inc, who said the club’s project meets the town’s level of service standards.

And to alleviate traffic concerns by the Town Commission, club attorney John Patterson said the club is willing to spend up to $1 million to make modifications to the intersection at Longboat Club Road and Gulf of Mexico Drive if expected traffic conditions are not met after the project is built.

Stiles said neither the club nor the town bases its traffic goals on intermittent traffic events such as the drawbridge at New Pass.

“The bottom line is that during peak traffic hours, you will not notice any difference in traffic,” Stiles said. “At project build-out, you will only see one additional vehicle turning in and out of the club per minute.”

Stiles also said the town’s traffic study was based on an aggressive growth rate of 2% per year. The study also factors in the town’s additional 250 tourism units that were approved Key-wide and that The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort’s 234 resort units will re-open.

The commission, however, still expressed concern with the traffic the project could create at the third day of Islandside renovation-and-expansion project hearings at Temple Beth Israel.

Commissioner Hal Lenobel asked how many parking spaces, or how many cars that will be on the project site at full capacity if the project was built.

Club officials explained the town requires 930 parking spaces for the project and the club is building 961 spaces.

The commission will meet again 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 15 at Temple Beth Israel to begin the presentation by Islandside Property Owners Coalition attorneys. The coalition opposes the project as proposed.

For more information on the third and fourth days of hearings, pick up a copy of the Thursday, Jan. 21 Longboat Observer and check for updates on

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].

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