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a push-to-cross button, he added, similar to those at the new crosswalks on Siesta Key's Midnight Pass Road or on Osprey Avenue at Morton's Gourmet Market. Once in the cross- walk, pedestrians have the right of way under Florida law. However, the plans in the hands of the work- ers show no flashing lights, just a small pedestrian island/"traffic splitter" in the mid- dle of School Avenue with zebra striping on the street. Location of the new crosswalk is a challenge because the outlet to two large parking facilities — one at Payne Park; the other, at the county multi-level garage — is on the west side of School Avenue. Plans call for the crosswalk to be sited immediately adjacent to the traffic entrance to the county parking lot and garage. And the workers said they expect to start the job any day now. The worker's plans do not show any fencing on the east side of School Avenue, so Health Department visitors could ignore the new and old crosswalks and continue to jaywalk across the street. Meanwhile, it appears the parking lot at the Health Department will continue to house vehicles for department employees. The crosswalk will compound an already nightmarish mix, especially in the morning and evening, as county employees fill or empty the lot, neighbors on the south side of the city leave or return home, and Health Department visitors and employees fill the new crosswalk. Southbound traffic on School Avenue will be especially hard hit. Did I mention there are two bus stops located in the exact same area? Or that the County Commission is thinking of moving the down- town bus transfer station to that vicinity, too? % THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2014 UNDER THE TENT at USF SARASOTA-MANATEE For further information, call 941.365.3913, ext. 1124 or visit Don't have your own subscription to The Sarasota News Leader? Subscribe for FREE and receive a weekly notification when the latest issue is available online. FREE SUBSCRIPTION Sarasota News Leader February 28, 2014 Page 66

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