Sarasota in Motion: A City Master Plan for Transportation


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, May 29, 2019 – The city of Sarasota is laying the springboards for its first citywide transportation master plan. Dubbed as “Sarasota in Motion,” the plan will serve as a 25-year roadmap on how the city invests in transportation infrastructures to help achieve the quality-of-life goals for local communities. In the process. Sarasota in Motion should contribute much in further building market interest in Sarasota homes for sale.

To flesh out the master plan, a public visioning workshop has been set for June 4 at the Bayfront Community Center on 803 North Tamiami Trail. In early April, the city’s chief transportation officer, Colleen McGue, met with members of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations to discuss the process for citizen involvement in crafting the blueprint for Sarasota in Motion.

Residents’ Inputs Sought

This citizen consultation process constitutes Phase 1 of the Sarasota in Motion timetable. It seeks inputs from Sarasota residents on several questions including:

  • How can city streets be safer?
  • How can travel time to work be more reliable, particularly as Sarasota grows?
  • How can travel options be expanded so more people can walk, bike, or take transit?
    • How do we plan for a future with new transportation technology like autonomous vehicles?
      • Besides the workshop, local residents can help in shaping the vision and action plan for Sarasota in Motion by completing an online survey focused primarily on the above mentioned questions. This poll, opened around mid-May, is accessible via till the end of June.

        Water Taxi Study Set

        In a related development, the Sarasota City Commission approved in May a feasibility study to pinpoint the best dock locations for the planned water taxis to serve residents and visitors. Costing $108,000, the study will be commissioned to an outside firm which would likewise determine the best-sized vessels for operations at certain water depths.

        Ultimately, this water taxi study will be woven into the city’s larger master plan with Sarasota in Motion, designed to plot the vision for moving commuters around the city onwards 2045. McGue, the city’s chief transportation planner, expects the study to be completed by January. Sites for potential docking locations to be assessed include: Ken Thompson Park, St. Armands Circle, and O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill, McGue disclosed.

        She added that a thoughtful and proper implementation of water taxi service could ease the local traffic that constantly bothers motorists. McGue noted that water taxis have worked well transporting folks to and from work in Clearwater. She said that the Florida Department of Transportation will soon release an island transportation study also recommending a water taxi service.

        Significantly, Sarasota already has a city ordinance allowing alternative transportation modes like water taxis. The Paradise Boat Tours of Capt. Sherman Baldwin has such a service that was supposed to be launched last year, but it was shelved temporarily

        Baldwin is still interested in operating water taxis which city leaders initially approved in February 2017. This operation’s first phase was supposed to provide 149-passenger ferry seven days a week from the Bradenton Beach Pier for a 55-minute ride across Sarasota Bay to Marina Jack’s in Sarasota.