Past studies have concluded that up to 45% of Gulf of Mexico Drive traffic consists of “through traffic,” or mainland drivers who use the Key’s main road as a thoroughfare to travel between Sarasota and Bradenton.
But an analysis that Commissioner Phill Younger submitted to the town suggests that use of Gulf of Mexico Drive as a thoroughfare has been overestimated.
Younger analyzed data that the town’s license cameras collected on both sides of the island during April 2014. A through traffic event occurs when a car exits the Key within 15 to 35 minutes of entering it, Younger wrote in an email to Town Manager Dave Bullock and Planning Zoning and Building Director Alaina Ray.
Younger found approximately 18,000 vehicle exit and entry events each day, just 1.8% to 3% of which were through traffic events.
“…it appears that thru-traffic on GMD, a state highway, is not as significant as has been heretofore expected,” he wrote.
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].