Downtown groups won't fully endorse roundabouts


Downtown groups won't fully endorse roundabouts


Date: March 10, 2010
by: Robin Roy | City Editor


The city continued this week hitting up downtown groups for support of the bayfront connectivity plan and the building of two test roundabouts on U.S. 41.

Once again, only qualified support was offered.

Steve Stancel, the city’s connectivity project manager, today presented the plan to the Downtown Sarasota Alliance. He asked the group to officially support the overall plan that calls for six roundabouts on U.S. 41 from 14th Street to Orange Avenue, wider medians and multi-use trails and to support the construction of the first two roundabouts at 14th Street and 10th Street.

The City Commission unanimously chose those two intersections first so drivers can get a feel for roundabouts and how they work, before the city begins constructing the rest of the project.

But the DSA board said it would only support the connectivity plan if the city made sure that other projects it supports, such as bus rapid transit and a downtown circulator system, be integrated into the plan.

Last week, Stancel made the same presentation to the Downtown Improvement District, but its board did not approve a motion support the roundabouts at 10th Street and 14th Street.

Two DID board members, Larry Fineberg and Andrew Foley, felt the city could better use the $5.9 million it is spending on those two roundabouts by spending it on a roundabout closer to downtown, such as at Main Street.

Tuesday, Rod Warner, the connectivity chairman of The City Alliance, made his own presentation to the DID, explaining how roundabouts work best when they are in a series. Warner said putting one at Main Street, where there are stoplights at Ringling Boulevard and Gulf Stream Avenue, would defeat the purpose of a roundabout, which is smoother traffic flow.

However, the DID board was not convinced and after taking another vote, maintained its position that roundabouts at 10th Street and 14th Street should not be the priority.

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Currently 3 Responses

  • 1.
  • I would be interested to know what studies have been done on roundabouts that include a major boat thoroughfare. the city boat launch is accessed by the big boats at the 10th street pier. how will the trailers and larger boats navigate a roundabout safely ?
    the placement for a roundabout at the entrance to a boat ramp seems most imprudent.
  • kate rodgers
    Mon 15th Mar 2010
    at 11:01am
  • 2.
  • Actually. Bayfront Corridor improvements with roundabouts first happening on the north end at 10th&14th benefits the downtown business interests more than they are recognizing. By doing those two first and slowing speed between the two, good things happen:
    QUICKEST & CHEAPEST: Funding in place to get 2 done within 3 yrs. Main Street costs more than that by itself and would not work well bracketed by STOP lights at Gulfstream&Ringling Blvd. Main Street and the others need Fed/State $ which has to work through at least a 5 year long funding process. 2 for the price of one sooner.
    ACCESS: 10th & 14th together conditions smoother,slower, safer, southbound traffic flow into the city, easier access to condo/biz entries there, & 10th encourages access to downtown via Lemon Ave.
    CITY DELIVERS TO DOWNTOWN NOW: Before the year is out downtown business interests will be enjoying and profiting from the benefits of working roundabouts designed and ready for construction at Palm and Pineapple on Ringling Blvd, as well as 5 Points,
    ~ Rod Warner, Connectivity Chair of THECITYALLIANCE..
  • Rod Warner
    Fri 12th Mar 2010
    at 11:21am
  • 3.
  • Gee, while running for a City Commission seat last year I got the impression that groveling allegiance to the Roundabout god was a litmus test for these group's support of my candidacy. Maybe there has been a sea change on their boards.
  • Pete Theisen
    Thu 11th Mar 2010
    at 2:19pm
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