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Longboat Key Wednesday, Sep. 29, 2010 7 years ago

Wayfinding signs to be completed

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

The town’s five new wayfinding signs on Gulf of Mexico Drive won’t be blank for much longer.

At its Thursday, Sept. 23 regular workshop, the Longboat Key Town Commission agreed with town staff recommendations on fonts and sizes for the signs, which have been blank since they were erected in May.

And issues with the Bay Isles Road wayfinding sign, which has too few spaces to accommodate all businesses in that area, were resolved.

The Bay Isles sign will include the following signs: Banks/Real Estate and Offices/Services; Town Offices; Library; Post Office; Episcopal Church; Temple Beth Israel; Tennis Center; and Mediterranean Plaza.
But a new issue has arisen with another wayfinding sign, which currently sits near the site where Lynches Landing Bar & Grill (now Lynches Pub & Grub) once sat near Bayfront Park.

At the workshop, Harry and Lynn Christensen, owners of Harry’s Continental Kitchens, told the Town Commission they want their businesses to be included on a wayfinding sign.

“We feel it’s important to have signage on Gulf of Mexico Drive,” Lynn Christensen said.

Public Works Director Juan Florensa told the commission that the Lynches Landing wayfinding sign could be relocated to the site of Harry’s Corner Store, which has Gulf of Mexico Drive frontage, if the Christensens are willing to give the town an easement to place it on their property.

The suggestion, which will be worked out between town staff and the Christensens, was made after Vice Mayor Jim Brown expressed displeasure with where the current wayfinding sign sits.

“I have no idea why there is a wayfinding sign there,” Brown said. “It seems odd because nothing is there.”

Florensa said he would call the Florida Department of Transportation, which must schedule a time for a contractor to finish the signs, because the work is part of a $500,000 federal stimulus grant the town received last year.

The signs will most likely be finished sometime next month.

Sign Discussion

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has agreed to work with town staff and Planning and Zoning Board member Walter Hackett to see if the number of road signs placed along Gulf of Mexico Drive can be reduced.

At the Thursday, Sept. 23 regular commission workshop, FDOT traffic operations engineer Keith Slater said that it will remove a few signs and will remove the town’s 122 bike lane signs if the town wants.

“Our new manual gives you the option not to have those signs,” said Slater.
Hackett, who presented a signage study to the commission, has counted 405 signs along a 9.7-mile stretch of Gulf of Mexico Drive.

Hackett joked that he stopped counting after FDOT recently erected signs warning residents of the upcoming paving project.

“I didn’t feel like counting anymore,” Hackett said. “The hell with that.”

Commissioner Lynn Larson also suggested that FDOT look into eliminating the town’s numerous no-parking signs in the right of way and replace them with two signs on each end of the island.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].


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