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EDUCATION WILL BE KEY TO MAKING DIVERGING DIAMOND WORK EDITORIAL OPINION EDITORIAL It was a scary proposi tion almost exactly a year ago when Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) consultants unveiled a radical new concept in interchanges during a local government meeting in Sarasota. The "diverging diamond" discussion came during a joint session of the Sarasota and Manatee county commissions. And we believe it is safe to say not one of the board members present felt the least bit reassured when the consultants said the design would solve the headaches in the Lakewood Ranch/University Parkway/Interstate 75 area, which were going to be compounded by the October 2014 open ing of the Mall at University Town Center. At that point, the community had not won its bid to host the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park, with the portent of heavier use of that venue, which is just down the road from the mall, in the years leading up to the international event. Flash forward to the spring of 2014, and it appears the diverging diamond is on its way to a Florida debut — if FDOT can convince enough state legislators to provide the fund ing. A Sarasota County news release issued on March 31 underscored FDOT's hope that construction can begin in 2015. Chief among our reservations about the diverging diamond is whether drivers will OPINION

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