Sarasota News Leader

09/21/12

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Sarasota News Leader September 21, 2012 tive to the SKVA and vice president of the Siesta Key Association, talked of the diffi- culty drivers — especially older ones — ex- perience in trying to spot pedestrians in the crosswalks, with some areas of the Village darker at night than others. Van Roekens called the situation a danger- ous one. County Commissioner Nora Patterson brought the matter to the attention of her fellow board members, who agreed to al- low staff to explore options. When apprised during the spring of the potential cost of bollards, the commissioners asked staff to work with representatives of the Siesta or- ganizations to determine the best way to proceed. Contacted this week by The Sarasota News Leader about the Sept. 13 Harriott memo, Van Roekens said he had received a copy of Harriott's memo from Ryan Montague, the county Mobility/Traffic office staff member who coordinated the lighting demonstra- tions in June and July. Van Roekens was traveling out of the coun- try, he wrote in an email, and looked for- ward to talking with Montague upon his return, "to get a better understanding of the installation costs." Van Roekens added, "Overall I am very happy that the County is moving forward with this critical safety issue." The County Commission is scheduled to meet both Sept. 25 and Sept. 26 in its chambers at the Administration Center on Ringling Boulevard in downtown Sarasota. The News Leader was unsuccessful in try- Page 44 ing to reach Commissioner Nora Patterson, who represents Siesta Key on the board, to learn with certainty whether she planned to bring up the memo for discussion during commissioner comments at one of those meetings. Patterson was out of town, at- tending a Florida Association of Counties conference through Sept. 21, according to her assistant. Mark Smith, chairman of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, told the News Leader he understood the matter would be included on the Sept. 25 agenda. Smith and Russell Matthes, president of the SKVA, also participated in the lighting demonstra- tions. Harriott further noted in his memo that the representatives of the Siesta organizations had requested placement of the bollards in the center of each crosswalk ramp, at the edge of the red Americans with Disabilities pad. "Based on current best practice guidelines," he added, "staff would recommend that the bollards be placed at the outside edge of the crosswalks angled slightly inward. The specific location of each bollard will have to be evaluated on a site-by-site basis as each crosswalk is configured differently." Although county staff had tried to arrange demonstrations with three different light- ing vendors during the summer, one of the companies contacted was unable to partic- ipate because of scheduling conflicts, Har- riott wrote in the memo. Of the other two — Sunovia, located in Sarasota, and JAG Lighting, located in Or- lando — Sunovia had the product that most

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