Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

CIty Council to Consider Downtown Road Options

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

CIty Council to Consider Downtown Road Options

Article excerpt

ENICE -- A new promenade

down the center of Venice Avenue

is the main feature in three different

options to reconstruct Venice,

Miami and Tampa avenues as

part of an $18 million road bond

program approved by voters last

November.

The promenade, which would

follow the route of a bridle path

that occupied the median in the

1920s, was suggested by Dorothy

Korweck, former director of historical

resources for the city, at a

January special meeting.

At that same meeting, the City

Council ruled out angle parking

but asked city staff to explore

options that could make Miami

and Tampa avenues one-way and

expand bicycle and pedestrian

options on Venice Avenue.

City Engineer Kathleen Weeden

is scheduled to present the latest

options to the council today shortly

after 1 p.m. All three preserve

the Washingtonian palms in the

median and include an eight-foot

wide promenade that

would be built in the

center median. All three

also include a new concept

for "parklets," where business

owners could lease an

extension of space into a

seven-foot wide parking

lane, either permanently

or on an as-needed basis.

"The primary decision

point we're looking at

right now is do we want

to change the traffic pattern

on one side of Venice

Avenue to add additional

bike lanes and to consider

making Tampa and Miami

avenues one way," Weeden

said. The City Council

could make a decision on

that today since the city

should have about 30 percent

of its design finished

to keep current with about

$2 million in grant funds

that are being used, along

with the bond money, to

pay for the project.

For Venice Avenue, there

are three main options:

n Build two 11-foot

wide travel lanes, with a

seven-foot-wide parking

aisle separated from the

travel lanes by a bike lane.

Parklets could be rented

by businesses to occupy a

portion of the parking lane.

n In one direction --

likely westbound to the

beach, Weeden said -- two

11-foot-wide travel lanes

would be built, along with

a seven-foot wide parking

aisle and a bike lane. But

eastbound there would

be only one travel lane, a

seven-foot wide parking

lane and a six-foot wide

bike lane. In that scenario,

there would be a two-foot

wide painted safety lane

separating the bike lane

from traffic and a three-foot

wide painted safety

lane separating the bike

lane from parking. …

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