North Shell Road lacks lifeguards and organized parking — making it difficult area for the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office to regulate activity. On a busy beach day, the public beach access on Siesta Key can be chaotic, according to neighbors.
Sarasota County staff will soon recommend a plan to Sarasota County commissioners to mitigate those issues, but funding isn't currently earmarked in the budget.
The staff endorsed option, which is one of six proposals, would create 16 parallel parking spaces and one angled handicap parking space along the street with the use of a shell material, posts and rope, and the displacement of the sidewalk, according to the draft of a memo dated April 9 from County Engineer Jim Harriott to commissioners. That plan would cost either $5,000 for staff design or $25,000 for a contractor design, plus roughly $30,000 for construction.
"The intent is to organize the spaces and make it easier for (the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office) to enforce the parking," said Sarasota County Neighborhood Services Manager Jane Grogg in a previous interview with the Sarasota Observer. Grogg, along with other members of county staff met with residents several times this year to vet plans.
Commissioners could tap the general fund to pay for the improvements or defer currently planned maintenance on traffic signals or pavement markings.
Staff are set to present the proposal during an April 9 commission meeting.
The options staff will present include, with estimated construction costs:
• Option 1: 10 parking spaces, $20,800
• Option 2: 12 parking spaces, $23,300
• Option 3: 17 parking spaces, $30,600
• Option 4: 14 parking spaces, $44,100
• Option 5: 18 parking spaces, $48,700
• Option 6: 20 parking spaces, $83,800
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