Based on the results of a survey it sent out in late December, the Florida Department of Transportation plans to start the process in May of hiring a contractor to install four crosswalks to enhance pedestrian safety on Midnight Pass Road.
No timetable has been set for the completion of the project, according to FDOT Public Information Director Cindy Clemmons.
With six options available in the survey mailed Dec. 23, 47% of the responding residents in 34 condominium complexes supported either crosswalks without collapsible signs, which would alert drivers to be on the lookout for pedestrians, or crosswalks with the signs, Clemmons announced late Feb. 8.
The total vote for those two crosswalk options was 445, out of the 950 responses, Clemmons reported.
The second largest group of residents — 277, or 29% — supported no new pedestrian-safety feature on Midnight Pass Road between the Beach Road and Stickney Point Road intersections.
The total vote count in favor of safety improvements was 673, she noted.
FDOT also plans to perform additional pedestrian-crossing counts this month on the affected part of the road, Clemmons said, to establish whether the need exists for more crosswalk locations than the four already selected. FDOT further plans to monitor traffic on that segment, to determine whether another posted speed-limit reduction would be reasonable, Clemmons said.
Nonetheless, Clemmons added, “At this time a reduction will not occur.”
In early January, FDOT had notified the Sarasota County Commission that an earlier speed-limit study it had undertaken indicated it was not necessary to lower the speed limit on that part of the road from 35 mph to 30 mph.
The Siesta Key Condominium Council already has sent a letter to the County Commission, saying it continues to favor no new pedestrian-safety options on the road other than the lower speed limit. It is asking the County Commission to request FDOT reconsider its decision on the crosswalks.