A new traffic sign aimed at improving pedestrian and cyclist safety recently appeared on Stickney Point Road at a busy Siesta Key intersection.
This month, the Florida Department of Transportation installed a no turn on red sign at the turn lane directing traffic northbound onto Midnight Pass Road. Drivers previously had the option of turning right during a red light when there were not any pedestrians near crosswalks.
"We had a citizen who called and said that cars weren't stopping," said FDOT spokesman Robin Stublen.
Instead of coming to a complete stop and yielding during a red light, drivers had been rolling through, prompting "several" complaints from residents.
"It's safety issue and it doesn't impede the flow of traffic," Stublen said.
FDOT engineers studied traffic data to ensure that despite a busy season ahead, the change would not greatly affect trip times.
FDOT recently proposed a roundabout at the intersection of Midnight Pass Road and Beach Road to further improve pedestrian safety as part of a draft work plan. The department is also providing a $1.09 million grant to fund trolley sevice through Siesta Key Village.
Currently 6 Responses
- There has been no change. The problem is getting worse day by day today March 31 I witnessed a back up at 10:30 morning that went just about from Siesta Key up to 41. They were quick to close the problem and incredibly slow to remedy it.
- Below the letter I received regarding this issue:
Thank you for contacting the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
As you are aware, FDOT recently installed a No Turn on Red sign at the intersection of Stickney Point and Midnight Pass Road based on complaints received from pedestrians concerned with traffic failing to yield to pedestrians within the crosswalk while turning right on red. At that time, FDOT analyzed traffic data and determined that the turn restriction should not cause a significant delay to motorists; however, following the installation of the sign, FDOT received complaints regarding traffic back-ups and delays experienced by motorists. In an effort to satisfy concerns from both pedestrians and motorists, FDOT is evaluating potential options for the intersection.
If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me. My contact information is provided below.
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Group on behalf of
Sarasota Operations Center
Florida Department of Transportation
- The Florida Department of Transportation stated, ""It's safety issue and it doesn't impede the flow of traffic," Stublen said. He is very, very wrong. The change in traffic has been immediate and frustrating. I wrote to DOT (letter below) and was told, "The Traffic Operations Office is evaluating the situation and the queuing that has resulted.” If you feel as I do that this has caused undo strain on Siesta Key traffic bridge flow, please write to Mr. Weaver a FDOT. Below is my letter.
Good Day Mr. Weaver
I thought I’d drop you a line as well regarding the recently installed No Turn on Red sign directing traffic northbound onto Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key. In the paper, in one grand misstatement, spokesperson Robin Stublen is quoted as stating, he had a call from a citizen (one?) and that the sign installation " …doesn’t impede the flow of traffic ". This is patently false.
The installation this sign, does in-fact cause traffic to back up well beyond any point it ever has, baring the bridge being raised. With the bridge down cars are backed up further than I’ve ever seen in 15 years of living on the key. I’ve spoken with numerous locals and all agree it’s a nightmare. In fact many of us are now using the other bridge more and more, which in turn is increasing back ups on that bridge. I have seen people making U-turns on the approach, after getting frustrated with sitting for over 23 minutes tying to get on the key.
As far as I can tell there have been no accidents at that intersection, unlike many other areas along Midnight Pass, etc. This sign was a knee-jerk reaction to a best a few complaints and was a knee-jerk reaction/ "easy fix" for a nonexistent problem, but has now caused one. For years we have done just fine with the "Right Turn permitted as long as no pedestrians are crossing” sign.
Please reconsider this decision. I cant believe any substantial research had been done with regard to traffic impact, all one has to do is sit at the corner for a few hours and see just how badly the back up has become.
Thank you for your time.
- Yes, we saw the sign after a friend told us to STOP at the intersection where, previously,we had turned right (after stopping). So far the change has had a very negative impact on cars wanting to turn north on Midnight Pass from Stickney ~ on Wednesday all the way back to #41 (about 11:45 AM).
Perhaps, after the 'season' there will be less problem..but, after the 'season' there is less need for NO TURN ON RED...right ?
- The installation of a no turn on red sign at the Siesta Key bridge, does in-fact cause the trip to be longer and does impede the flow of traffic. Alot. Cars back up all across the bridge, beyond Mandala Spa, I have never ( in 15 years) seen it worse. How can Mr.Stubien state it does not cause a longer trip?
As far as I can tell there have been no accidents at that intersection, unlike many other areas along Midnight Pass, etc. I feel this sign was a knee-jerk reaction to few local complaints and was an "easy fix" for a nonexistent problem, but has now caused one. I have heard endless complaints form locals. How long did they study the traffic patterns before installing that sign? I suggest DOT sit there for a day or two and see what they think.
- At least two cyclists were struck by cars turning left into driveways from Midnight Pass Rd. in the last week. One was seriously injured. How about some signs reminding drivers to be cautious of cyclists and pedestrians when turning either right or left. I have not read about any incidents or issues involving safety at the Midnight Pass/Stickney Point intersection and none were cited by FDOT for this article. One person called so FDOT changed the intersection to the inconvenience of many. Two cyclists are struck by turning cars on Midnight Pass Rd. in one week and nothing is done.
FDOT needs to find solutions to real problems. Maybe one of us should call Robin Stublin at FDOT (# please) to get FDOT to do something to keep cyclists from being hit by cars on Midnight Pass Rd. Apparently it only takes one call.
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