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Michael Shay, Siesta Key Association president, and Walt Olson with the Siesta Key Condominium Council talk with FDOT representatives about the possible roundabout.
Sarasota Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2015 4 years ago

FDOT holds public workshop on potential Siesta Key roundabout

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FDOT has presented the same information at two Siesta Key Association meetings
by: Jessica Salmond Staff Writer

The Florida Department of Transportation held a public open house last night about the potential changes to the Midnight Pass, Beach Road intersection, and the reaction the representatives received was solid: no roundabout, please.

FDOT has made similar presentations at two Siesta Key Association meetings in February and November. The information at last night’s meeting was the same as before. FDOT is considering three options: leaving the intersection the same, removing the free-flowing right turns and signalizing all turns, and putting in a roundabout. No official decision has been made.

At the workshop, which was held at St. Boniface Episcopal Church, FDOT handed out a fact sheet about roundabouts to dispel some myths that are associated with the alternative intersections and had renderings for people to view.  

However, residents of Siesta Key are skeptical about the effectiveness of a roundabout at this particular intersection because of the amount of pedestrian traffic.

Donna Grantham, a Siesta Cove resident, said she generally likes roundabouts, but one at this location would be inappropriate. Pedestrians wouldn’t have a clear, safe crosswalk, and the majority of traffic flows north to south.

“I think it would be hard (for vehicles) to get into the circle,” she said, referring to the cars trying to move from Midnight Pass.

Grantham said she thought a better and less expensive solution would be to increase signage at the intersection as it currently is, so pedestrians are more visible and drivers are more aware. The roundabout would clog up traffic, rather than let it flow better, she said.

“It’s a lot of expense for not gaining a lot of flow or pedestrian safety,” Grantham said.

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