Skip to main content
Photo courtesy of John Harshman
This photo from the ’40s shows that the traffic light above the Main Street and Orange Avenue intersection hangs by wires, just like today's traffic light.
Sarasota Thursday, Mar. 17, 2011 6 years ago

Overhaul planned for intersection

by: Robin Roy City Editor

Commercial real-estate broker John Harshman knows the Main Street and Orange Avenue intersection well. His office sits on the northwest corner.

“It’s inconsistent with every other intersection on Main Street from U.S. 41 to U.S. 301,” he said.

At Orange Avenue, the traffic lights hang by wires, like they have for decades. Harshman has a 1940s-era photo, which shows a wired traffic light.

All other major Main Street intersections have had some sort of improvement:
U.S. 41 — Traffic-light mast arms
Palm Avenue — Bulbouts, planters and crosswalks
Lemon Avenue — Traffic-light mast arms and curbs removed
Osprey Avenue — Traffic-light mast arms
U.S. 301 — Traffic-light mast arms

Harshman has asked the city to consider doing something to spruce up the Main and Orange intersection.

The city had mast arms ready to place at that intersection but moved them to Osprey Avenue after Benderson Development floated a plan to help pay for a roundabout at Main and Orange.

Benderson was planning to construct a hotel in the Bank of America building there. The roundabout was going to be part of the project.

But last March, the company squashed its plans, because of economic conditions.

City engineer Alex DavisShaw said the city does plan some form of improvement at Main and Orange. Whether it’s mast arms for the traffic light or a roundabout depends on what the new City Commission desires.

Staff members will be meeting March 18 to discuss such a project.

Mast arms carry an estimated cost of $100,000 to $200,000 and need ongoing maintenance and a primary and backup power supply.

A roundabout that was discussed at Osprey Avenue and Hillview Street was somewhat similar in scope to the one at Main and Orange. The Osprey and Hillview roundabout was estimated at $300,000, but ongoing maintenance would be minimal.

Please contact Robin Roy at [email protected]

Related Stories