Sarasota News Leader

09/21/12

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Sarasota News Leader September 21, 2012 Patterson told The Sarasota News Leader she still was disappointed FDOT was not planning to lower the speed limit from 35 mph to 30 mph on that portion of road, in conjunction with the installation of the crosswalks. Still, she said, she was encouraged that "that may change once the crosswalks go in. … I think, with those crosswalks, 30 [mph] probably will be more appropriate. I think people will slow up when they see those walks." Cindy Clemmons, public information di- rector for FDOT, told the News Leader the department's engineers in Sarasota Coun- ty had reviewed the data about traffic pat- terns on the portion of Midnight Pass Road between Beach Road and Ocean Boulevard, where the county late last year lowered the speed limit from 35 mph to 30 mph, at the request of residents. That data had not proven compelling enough, she said, to warrant the lowering of the speed limit on the section of Midnight Page 47 Pass Road where the crosswalks will be in- stalled. However, Clemmons said, after the cross- walks have been completed, FDOT will undertake another traffic analysis of the speed limit situation. The crosswalk project follows years of res- idents' complaints about difficulty they ex- perienced trying to cross Midnight Pass Road at times of heavy traffic, especially during season. In June 2011, FDOT proposed the instal- lation of raised pedestrian islands in the center turn lane to facilitate safe crossing of the road. However, after complaints from residents who use that center lane to merge into traffic, along with concerns of Saraso- ta County Fire Department officials, who noted their vehicles use that center lane to maneuver around traffic, FDOT held an open house on Dec. 6, 2011 to gauge the views of the majority of residents along the affected portion of the road. A Florida Department of Transportation illustration shows the approximate locations of the six planned crosswalks on Midnight Pass Road between the Stickney Point Road and Beach Road intersections.

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