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Longboat Key Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009 8 years ago

Commission workshop wrap-up

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

A traffic engineer hired by the town has concluded the city of Sarasota’s proposal for six roundabouts as part of its bayfront connectivity proposal includes incorrect traffic data that allows the city to show traffic moving more efficiently through the roundabouts.

Juan Calderon, a professional traffic operational engineer with Miami-based FTE, showed a model with cars running into one another in the proposed roundabouts because the engineer said the gap of 1.7 to 2 seconds is unacceptable.

“The gap between one car and another is extremely aggressive,” said Calderon, who explained he has designed roundabouts in Miami that have drivers riding up on each other with car gaps of about three seconds.

Calderon also said growth rates the city’s engineer applied to the project inaccurate and said the roundabouts would create traffic backups on roads such as U.S. 301 and Fruitville Road.

The commission asked town staff at its Thursday, Nov. 19, regular workshop to deliver a copy of the engineer’s findings to local planning organizations and the Florida Department of Transportation. The town’s engineer also will continue to analyze any information the city submits to the state for its roundabout project.

At the workshop, the commission also:

Directed the town manager:
• To work with Manatee County officials to acquire both their staff’s help and their funding to develop an inlet management plan for Longboat Pass and area beaches. The town also is working to place 600 cubic yards of sand on the beach near North Shore until a breakwater project that will hold sand in the area can be performed in November 2010.

• To make the Bay Isles Access Channel a part of its ongoing canal maintenance program. The commitment will allow the state to approve a dredging project in the town’s name being performed by The Longboat Key Moorings Marina.

• To make all new board members required to attend a seminar on public records, ethics and the Sunshine Law.

• To use the $57,000 in the town’s budget for an additional code enforcement officer for contract employee purposes for the town’s code enforcement department.

• To eliminate the public town manager evaluation process, which the majority of the commission believes has no value.

Forwarded to its Monday, Dec. 7 regular meeting for fist reading:
• An ordinance that reconciles discrepancies in the town’s utility division fee schedule for customers.

• An ordinance that codifies all ordinances adopted by the town through the Nov. 2 regular meeting.

Forwarded to its Monday, Dec. 7 regular meeting for formal action:
• The confirmation of Jan. 26 as a preliminary election date (if required) and March 16 as the general municipal election date.

• A request by the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office to maintain Town Hall as a poling precinct for 2010.

• A revised ordinance that would allow commissioner to serve three consecutive two-year terms as well as any additional time served as a partial term limit for being appointed.

• Waiving the requirement that the second of two public hearings for an outline development application being reviewed by the Town Commission be held after 5 p.m. because The Longboat Key Club and Resort’s Islandside project is expected to take longer to review. The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on the chosen date.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].

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