Manatee Takes the Road of Complete Streets


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, November 21st, 2016 – Residents at Whitfield and Shadybrook Village shall be amongst the first folks to have a sampling of the various benefits of Complete Streets, an initiative that Manatee’s Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved in early November for inclusion in the County Public Works Highway and Traffic Standards Manual.


A road designed as a Complete Street opens a safe and convenient corridor for pedestrians, cyclists, bus riders, as well as trucks, cars, and service vehicles. A project implementing this system is currently in the works on a stretch of about 1.5 miles a short distance east of Whitfield and Shadybrook Village.

A Well-planned Project

Manatee Takes the Road of Complete Streets

This initial Complete Streets project runs northward along 15th Street South (old U.S. 301) from Tallevast Road towards the Desoto Mall. In the planning stage since 2012, Complete Streets had its first pilot project initiated in early 2013 along U.S. 41 wherein alternate bike routes were designated on parallel roadways with less traffic.

A Power of Policy grant from the American Public Health Association to the Manatee County Health Department in March 2012 jumpstarted the county’s Complete Streets policy planning. BOCC members consider Complete Streets as a valuable tool in urban redevelopment because much of the associated cost can be sourced from Federal and State Departments of Transportation grants.

Wide-ranging Community Benefits

Research indicates Complete Streets promote road safety. One study showed a 50 percent drop in accidents and a 70 percent decline in injuries during a 10-year period on roadways where this system has been implemented.

In addition, Complete Streets make them accessible to all users which is vital not only in safe and improved traffic flow. The enhanced roadways also provide better accessibility to all users which in turn contribute to local economic growth and public health.

Complete Streets open sidewalks and increase foot traffic that help stimulate local businesses. They likewise foster more opportunities for safe physical activities contributing to physical well-being and environmental protection.

Added foliage in the improved roadways makes them cooler, a strong stimulus for walking and cycling. By bringing more folks outdoors, these roadways also improve connectivity amongst community residents.

Complementary Initiatives in Urban Corridors

The Complete Streets initiative dovetails with the redevelopment planned along some of Manatee’s dormant urban corridors, an initiative which could bring further growth to the Bradenton real estate market . Scheduled for approval this December, this plan covers stretches along U.S. 41, 15th Street East, 53rd Avenue/State Road 70, Cortez Road, Manatee Avenue and First Street.

Progress on these urban corridors’ revitalization and on the Complete Streets project moving forward should bring in added pep for Manatee homes for sale. Closed sales of single family homes in the county rose by some 13 percent in August and September, even as median price gains hovered just at around the 1 percent range.

Upbeat Tempo Spreads Wide

This vibrant market activity extends to the Whitfield and Shadybrook neighborhoods where about a dozen properties were sold in October. Their attractive price ranges, including some offered in the $100s range, further helped push these properties on the market for Manatee and Sarasota homes for sale.

Prospective buyers can still have a crack at attractively priced listings in these communities. At the Whitfield Country Club Heights, there is a new listing of a three-bedroom home with a floor area of about 1,500 square feet and an asking price in the low $200s.