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Longboat Key Tuesday, Jun. 26, 2018 2 years ago

Longboat needs to light intersections on GMD only, FDOT says

A study performed by FDOT found that Longboat Key must light its intersections with traffic signals and midblock crosswalks.
by: Bret Hauff Staff Writer

Longboat Key could have streetlights in fewer places than it does now when the town’s underground-utility project is complete, officials said.

The Florida Department of Transportation completed a lighting study of Gulf of Mexico Drive this month to determine how much of the state roadway must be illuminated to meet state standards.

The town has been waiting for the study for months, ever since town officials disagreed with an initial state assertion that street lights might be needed every 100 feet or so.

Now, the study suggests, the town could end up spending less than anticipated in completing the utility project and installing new streetlights, said Longboat Key Public Works Project Manager James Linkogle.

Linkogle said the study didn’t have much in it that he didn’t expect.

“We really felt when we got this, when we had the initial conversations with [FDOT], and they said they were going to do this study, this is what we discussed as to what we anticipated,” Linkogle said.

Instead of having street lights spanning the length of the island on GMD, FDOT is recommending that the town put brighter lights only in critical areas, such as crosswalks and intersections with traffic signals. The town is free to go beyond this standard if desired.

Here’s a list of where streetlights would be required on the island, according to Town Manager Tom Harmer:

  • Signalized intersection at Longboat Club Road (South)
  • Pedestrian crossing at Longboat Club Road (North)
  • Signalized intersection at Bay Isles Parkway
  • Pedestrian crossing north of Buttonwood Drive
  • Pedestrian crossing north of Royal Road
  • Pedestrian crossing north of Banyon Bay Club
  • Pedestrian crossing south of Spanish Drive

“Where [FDOT] are recommending lighting — it will require meeting the new standard so it will be more illuminated than it is now,” Harmer said in an email to Town Commissioner Ed Zunz. “But in the rest of GMD, where we may have lights, they are not recommending any lighting.”

The design and number of streetlights at each of the identified locations have not been determined, Linkogle said.

I’m a Longboat Key Staff Reporter. I write stories about how decisions and events affect the island, its leaders and its citizens. I received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Emerson College, where I wrote for The Boston Globe. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 333.

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