Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

New Route Skips South Jetty

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

New Route Skips South Jetty

Article excerpt

VENICE TROLLEY

VENICE -- The new route for the Venice trolley has been in place for less than a week but Tuesday, one member of the Venice City Council will ask if it can be changed again -- possibly to the route it just abandoned -- so the South Jetty can again be served.

The latest route, put into place Jan. 17 at the direction of the Venice City Council, emphasized access between underused parking lots and downtown Venice, highlighted by the addition of a stop at the Venice Community Center and the removal of the South Jetty.

In addition to the community center, the free trolley also now runs by the shopping area of Miami Avenue between Nassau Street and Nokomis Avenue.

Those changes were made at the direction of the Venice City Council at its Jan. 10 meeting.

Council member Bob Daniels believes those changes were made in haste.

"I think that was a big mistake, I really do," Daniels said. "The Jetty

is a very heavily tourist-visited area, and for us to not take people out there and pick them up, that's a big mistake."

"What i'm asking for is to continue our discussion in light of new information."

On Jan. 10, the council was responding to feedback from downtown merchants and laboring under the perception that the decision to add the South Jetty to the 30-minute loop made the trolley more of a scenic loop than utilitarian people mover.

Ironically, the Traffic Advisory Task Force included the South Jetty, and with it the condominiums along Tarpon Center Drive and The Esplanade, because it envisioned the trolley as a people mover, too, and envisioned the trolley as a way for those residents to go downtown to dine and shop without driving.

Task force member Linda Dalton attempted to convey that to the City Council on Jan. 10 and on Monday, noted in an email to Assistant City Manager Len Bramble that when she rode the trolley on the old route Sunday, there were very few empty seats and lots of riders getting on and off at the Jetty and Crow's Nest.

"Linda Dalton is correct that one of the shortcomings of the trolley service last year was that it didn't go to the Jetty because it couldn't turn around," Daniels said. …

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