The town of Longboat Key wants Gulf of Mexico Drive to be safer for pedestrians, make traffic flow smoother and look more aesthetically pleasing.
Accomplishing those goals, though, must be done with the help and support of the Florida Department of Transportation, which controls the island’s main thoroughfare.
To accomplish the town’s objectives, an Orlando-based road consultant has been invited to a 2 p.m. Urban Land Institute Implementation Advisory Committee meeting today at Town Hall.
At the meeting, committee members will hear a presentation from Nick Lapp, a representative of the Renaissance Planning Group. The planning group is used to create street policies for roads around the state.
A final ULI report the town received earlier this month recommends possible changes to Gulf of Mexico Drive that include a roundabout at Broadway and Gulf of Mexico Drive on the north end, which ULI panelists believe would reduce crashes and congestion on the north end. A roundabout and crosswalks in that area, ULI panelists believe, will also make that area safer for pedestrians going to and from the popular Broadway beach access.
Crosswalks and pedestrian islands along other busy areas of Gulf of Mexico Drive are also recommended, which the ULI report believes would slow motorists and give pedestrians a safe place to wait for cars to pass.
Widening the Gulf of Mexico Drive sidewalk and bicycle lanes were also listed as safety suggestions in the report.
Town staff is already working with FDOT to compile a list of recommended crosswalks for Gulf of Mexico Drive.
Also at the meeting, the committee will hear a staff update about the town’s acquisition of land near the Longboat Key Publix for a town center concept and discuss future possibilities for Bayfront Park improvements.
For more information, pick up a copy of next week’s Longboat Observer.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].