For Safer, Pedestrian- and Bike-Friendly Roads


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, August 31th, 2015 – Expect to see more public infrastructure improvements in Sarasota geared towards roads friendlier to pedestrians and bike riders as the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has included the county among its top 15 priority areas for a revamp of urban streets to make them safer for those on foot or on bikes.

The proposed fixes to make county roads safer were presented during a recent meeting of the Florida Transportation Commission, a citizen’s oversight board for FDOT. The improvements put forward by representatives of the transportation agency in the meeting held in Port Manatee included not only bike lanes but also pedestrian-friendly amenities, LED lighting, and modern roundabouts designed for safer driving and more efficient traffic movement.

A lead at Bee Ridge

For Safer, Pedestrian- and Bike-Friendly Roads

One apparent prototype for the FDOT road improvement and safety initiatives is the current Bee Ridge Road expansion. This is a $22-million project which, upon its expected completion in summer 2016, should bring significant benefits to the residential communities flanking Bee Ridge, host to some neighborhoods offering attractive Sarasota homes for sale.

This FDOT project involves more besides widening to four lanes the road’s 1.7-mile stretch east of Interstate 75. It also includes the construction of bike lanes and multi-use pathways, as well as building raised medians. Four roundabouts are likewise being added in the vicinity of Aberdeen, Gary Player, Iona, and the Sarasota Golf Club.

Pedestrian islands

Also cited during FDOT’s presentation in Port Manatee was the construction of “pedestrian islands” to provide a safe midway spot for those crossing a busy street. Sometime last year, the transportation agency held a public hearing on such a project along a 3.6-mile stretch of Bee Ridge from Dunn Road to U.S. 41.

This plan, the first in the county, calls for the construction of 12 of such pedestrian refuge which will be about 60 feet in length and five to 10 feet in width. Estimated to cost $708,000, thisBee Ridge Road plan also includes repaving the sidewalks, drainage work, new signage, and traffic light adjustments. FDOT is considering a similar pedestrian island project in Bradenton along U.S. 41 from Cortez Road to 69th Avenue.

Popular road corridor

Meantime, work on the expansion of the south side of Bee Ridge is already complete and construction is shifting on the road’s northern flank this September. A six-lane road with a 45 mile-per-hour speed limit, Bee Ridge Road has a traffic volume of almost 36,000 cars daily.

Additionally, Bee Ridge is also a popular haunt of cyclists and pedestrians drawn by the motley of business and commercial establishments along this road corridor. Also flanking it are several residential communities which attract many prospective buyers of Sarasota homes for sale due to their superb location close to Bee Ridge Road.

One of the neighborhoods in this locality is Lake Sarasota which has affordably priced new listings at the mid-$100s up to the $200s for three-bedroom homes with floor plans in the 1,100‒1,800-square-foot range. Laurel Oak and Bent Tree, two nearby golf communities, also have listings of upscale Sarasota homes for sale even made more enticing by the FDOT showcase project at Bee Ridge.