The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has agreed to work with town staff and Planning and Zoning Board member Walter Hackett to see if the number of road signs placed along Gulf of Mexico Drive can be reduced.
At its Thursday, Sept. 23 regular workshop, FDOT traffic operations engineer Keith Slater told the Town Commission that it will remove a few signs and will remove the town’s 122 bike-lane signs if the town wants.
“Our new manual gives you the option not to have those signs,” said Slater, whose comment was met with applause from Planning and Zoning Board member Allen Hixon.
Hackett, who presented a signage study to the commission in May 2009, has counted 405 signs along a 9.7-mile stretch of Gulf of Mexico Drive (see box). Originally, FDOT told the town the bike-lane signs could not be removed.
Slater said he is willing to take a closer look at the number of road signs along the island’s highway and will consider removing the bicycle signs, as long as the town agrees to put more bicycle-lane markings on the pavement.
Hackett and others were happy to hear the news.
“Two-hundred signs on each side of this road is too much,” Hackett said.
Commissioner Lynn Larson also suggested that FDOT look into eliminating all of the town’s no-parking signs in the right of way and replacing them, instead, with two signs on each end of the island.
“There’s no need for all of those,” Larson said.
Signs: By the Number
South to North (east side) North to South (west side)
New Pass Bridge to Bay Isles Road (3.3 miles) 60 70
Bay Isles Road to county line (2 miles) 38 57
County line to Cannons Marina (2.7 miles) 54 47
Cannons Marina to Longboat Pass Bridge (1.7 miles) 41 38
Total signs for both east and west sides (9.7 miles) 193 212
Total number of signs in GMD right of way........................................................................................................405
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