Multimodal Solutions Poised to Ease Traffic Woes


Various measures have been put in place recently to address transportation issues as Sarasota continues to attract tourists and new residents as well as open broader choices on Sarasota homes for sale.

New property developments, for instance, have been required effective October 2014 to pay a multimodal transportation impact fund. This fee seeks to ensure that the modes of traffic that these projects generate—whether pedestrian, vehicular, bicycle, mass transit and others—are adequately accommodated. Ultimately, the collected fees enable the city to fund new projects not just on roadway improvements but also on pedestrian, bike or transit upgrades which should also help sharpen market interest on Sarasota homes for sale.

Transpo summit

Multimodal Solutions Poised to Ease Traffic Woes

Public engagement is one of the critical steps that the city has adopted in transportation planning and determining the specific types of projects to pursue. One of the highlights of this public involvement is a “transportation summit” held in July 2015 to gather community feedback on potential solutions to the increased traffic overloading the city’s road network. Several transportation workshops and surveys were held prior to this gathering of city, county and state employees wherein a wide variety of approaches to the traffic concerns were presented.

Prominent among these proposed solutions was for the city to have more “complete streets” with sidewalks and bike lanes enabling residents to walk, bike, drive, or use public transit, depending on their need or preference. On public transport, most notable of the improvements identified was reduction of bus headway times for commuters to know that a bus will be arriving soon.

Bus stop enhancements

Also proposed were enhanced physical structures to bus stops and designating express lanes for buses. Likewise presented for consideration were: additional trolleys, expanding the bus transit lines, and water taxis plying the downtown-to-Lido Key route. To encourage increased bicycle use, additional bike parking and extension of the Legacy Trail have been proposed along with better access through neighborhoods.

City planning staff members have expressed confidence that residents will use multi-modal forms of transportation if they’re made available and are convenient. A mere 10% of the public using these alternative modes of transportation will help ease the traffic congestion on the roads, according to City engineer Alex Davisshaw.

More roundabouts

Adding 16 roundabouts through 2023, ten of which are along U.S. 41 from the downtown to University Parkway, is another plan that Davisshaw presented during the Sarasota transportation summit. He said that roundabouts are beneficial as these reduce overall traffic speed, allowing safer pedestrian crossing.

The locations of traffic circles set for construction include one at U.S. 41 and Gulfstream and another 10th and 14th Streets along U.S. 41, a boon for Sarasota homes for sale in this area. Also on the drawing board are roundabouts at US 41 for 47th Street, Dr. MLK Way, Myrtle, Main Street, and Ringling Blvd. Additional traffic circles are eyed too for Ringling and Orange, Ringling and Pine Place, Coconut and Palm Ave., and Siesta Key Drive and School Ave.

Priority effort, meanwhile, has been extended to improvement of Fruitville Road for better connectivity and walkability between downtown and Rosemary District. Following the new urbanist principles gaining traction in Sarasota, Fruitville’s streetscape is being redesigned to slow its traffic.This road is also being made more inviting with the addition of pedestrian amenities that enhance the walkability advantage of downtown Sarasota homes for sale.