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Traffic circle angers residents

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  • | 4:00 a.m. May 29, 2009
  • Sarasota
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Several Alta Vista residents are not happy about the traffic circle being installed in their community, and they let their feelings known at the May 28 neighborhood association meeting.

A sampling of the comments:
“It’s a hell of a thing.”
“It’s terrible.”
“Nobody knows who has the right of way.”
“It’s a very dangerous situation.”
“We don’t want it.”

The city is currently putting the finishing touches on the circle at Shade Avenue and Novus Street.

The Alta Vista Neighborhood Association requested the traffic circle two years ago to help slow speeders.
But some residents told the association’s board that they didn’t think speeding was a problem.

“I’ve lived on Novus my whole life, and I’ve never seen the problems you’re talking about,” said resident Candy Spaulding.

Pete Theisen, a former City Commission candidate, said cars seem to be hitting the traffic circle.
“I see lots of black tire marks (on the circle),” he said.

But Association President Juanita Rawlinson said traffic is a problem now and will only get worse when two major construction projects are complete — the new Publix supermarket at Wood Street and U.S. 41 and a mixed-use development on School Avenue.

“We’re going to see a lot more cars, so we’re trying to do everything we can to slow traffic,” Rawlinson said.
And, other board members assured the skeptics it would just take some time to get used to the traffic circle.
But some residents weren’t buying it.

“Somebody is going to get hurt,” Spaulding said. “That’s why it’s so asinine.”