At a public workshop Tuesday, Feb. 12, state and local planners presented the most recent version of plans for a pair of roundabouts on U.S. 41.
The $7.9 million project to construct the two roundabouts at U.S. 41 and 10th Street and U.S. 41 and 14th Street would be the first of a $100 million network that calls for eight additional circular intersections to replace traffic lights along the bayfront.
Before the meeting began, residents viewed a video simulation that showed how the roundabouts at 10th and 14th streets would function. The simulation also showed how large trucks and vehicles towing boats would navigate the circles. Another simulation illustrated a stream of 700 cars leaving the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on 10th Street.
“Generally I think they are an improvement,” Al Kersten, who owns a condo at Broadway Promenade at U.S. 41 and 11th Street, said of the pair of roundabouts.
Kersten’s only concern is how traffic will flow after a show at the Van Wezel lets out. He worries traffic will not flow as smoothly as the video simulation portrayed.
Kersten, however, thinks the roundabouts and wider sidewalks, new landscaping, bike lanes and pedestrian crossings will be a big improvement over what the bayfront highway looks like now.
Residents also offered suggestions for improvements to the project, such as adding an additional crosswalk and bike lane near the project boundaries.
For more on this story, pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Sarasota Observer.