County & City Collaboration Succeeds !

The Sarasota County Commission and the Sarasota City Commission, June 24, together asked the Sarasota Manatee MPO to set the US41 multimodal corridor from 14th Street thru University Parkway for State/Federal priority funding.  Project cost estimate: $52 million. The MPO Board unanimously adopted the project for priority funding.

This is the  final US41 segment of the Bayfront Connectivity Plan and North Trail Redevelopment mobility – 2.5 miles of roadway improvements (green medians, sidewalks, bike lanes, & more) featuring modern roundabout “nodes” at MLK, Myrtle, 47th, & University Parkway.

South, the Bayfront two-mile segment with roundabouts at Orange, Main, Gulfstream, Fruitville, 10th, and  14th is already priority funded and FDOT programmed. 

In the end, Sarasota will have a 4.5 mile multimodal corridor of ten modern roundabouts in-series moving traffic just as quick (stoplights removed), that’s safer for drivers, walkers, and bikers, with easier business access, while more welcoming to visitors.

This major project priority position is the first step in the FDOT funding-to-construction process.  Once MPO priority listed, the project will need the funding  calendared for PD&E, ROW, and Construction by the FDOT. The US41Momentum team will do our best to encourage moving that calendar earlier.

Long visioned, economic revitalization of this US41 north trail helps both the County and the City, increases the tax base for both while improving the quality of life there and along the entire Sarasota Bayfront. That final segment completes the City’s Bayfront Connectivity Plan and the City’s priority for improving the US41 North Trail mobility.

Speakers for twelve stakeholders made the “Depth of  Community Support” case  to the MPO board, Monday, June 24, at  the USF Selby Auditorium:

  • Casey Welch, USF support
  • Jono Miller, the New College Master Plan.
  • Steve Querior, Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce for regional economic impact.
  • Ken Shelin, the US41 Scenic Highway.
  • Ron McCollough, US41 mobility for all users of North Trail and the Bayfront.
  • Norm Gollub, local economic development benefit.
  • Linda Holland, benefits to adjacent neighborhood residents.
  • Richard Dorfman, the vision of better North Trail quality of life.
  • Roger Barry, roundabout capabilities in his email from Switzerland.
  • David Morriss, the North Redevelopment Group on mobility and land use benefit.
  • Jim Bridges, North Trail commercial real estate development.
  • Rod Warner, significant that this project is submitted by both City & CountyCommissions    

Adding important community support weight, letters that were on record with the MPO from: Ringling College of Art & Design §  Downtown Sarasota Alliance §  Coalition of Business Associations §  The Downtown Improvement District §  The Argus Foundation §  Assignment Downtown Council §  North Trail Redevelopment Partnership §  New College §  USF Sarasota §  Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce §  Downtown Sarasota Condominium Association §  Ringling Museum of Art  § 

When complete, Sarasota will boast a 4.5 mile four-lane multimodal corridor featuring ten modern roundabouts in-series moving traffic just as quick (stoplights removed) that’s safer for drivers/walkers/bikers, easier business access, more welcoming to visitors, and promising improved property values and positive infill benefiting both the City and County.

This four-lane multimodal length of a Federal Highway applying these features is unique in the USA.

_______________ 

Below is the email to the County Commission from Norm Gollub (Downtown Economic Development Coordinator) and the remarks to the Commission by Rod Warner, one of the County’s appointed representative to the MPO Citizens Advisory Committee..—–

From: Norm Gollub [mailto:ngollub@sarasotachamber.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 8:27 AM
To: Carolyn Mason; Charles D. Hines; Christine Robinson; Joseph Barbetta; Nora Patterson
Cc: Randall Reid; Mark Cunningham; Jim Harriott; michael@mympo.org
Subject: U.S. 41 / University Parkway Roundabout

 Dear Commission Members:

First impressions generated by an esthetically pleasing and efficient traffic network contribute to the recruitment of new talent and new employers to an area.  Prioritizing funding at the top of the list for the U.S.41 and University Parkway roundabout will greatly enhance the traffic network for Sarasota county and city, and provide tangible economic results.

 Improving the traffic flow around the airport with a roundabout will aid SRQ in demonstrating to prospective carriers a commitment to improving access infrastructure.  A roundabout will reduce bottlenecks at the intersection and enhance the visitor experience into the cultural facilities at Ringling.  Those facilities alone attract over 320,000 visitors each year.

 Prioritizing funding for the U.S. 41 / University Parkway roundabout will send a signal to the development community that economic development along the North Trail is not on the back burner, but an opportunity to be acted upon now.

 A roundabout at this important gateway for the airport, for Ringling and for the North Trail and for the City of Sarasota has been demonstrated to make sense as an important component of the areas transportation network.

 We owe it to our constituents and to our customers to strive for an efficient multi-modal network.  Please place funding for this important location as a priority.

 Respectfully submitted,

Norman Gollub, CSBA,Downtown Economic Development Coordinator

1945 Fruitville Rd. Sarasota, FL 34236

———-

Good morning…. I’m a Sarasota County appointed representative to the MPO Citizens Advisory Committee, long time …  Am here to urge you to join the City in a joint MPO filing … to finish the US41 multimodal corridor through Sarasota — from 14th north to the County line. The FDOT advanced the filing deadline to May 10, just four weeks from today.

It’s long been versioned: economic revitalization of this US41 north trail helps both the County and the City.  Increases the tax base for both … a potential so promising that the City Commission authorized City staff to join up with the County to submit it as one major project — from 14th Street north … with modern roundabout nodes at the City’s 47th Street and the County’s University Parkway.

Already, the US41 Bayfront south of 14th is funded and in the FDOT work plan. When done you will have a 4. 5 mile roadway unlike anything in Florida….a safer just-as-quick boulevard appealing to all users, walkers, bikers, drivers. Safer pedestrian crossings. Attracting positive in-fill.

As you know, a Univ Prkway roundabout is in the New College Master Plan.  With New College, on record for this at US41Momentum.com  are: The Ringling Museum of Art,  University of South Florida, Ringling School of Art & Design, North Trail Redevelopment Partnership. Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Sarasota Condominium Association, Coalition of Business Organizations, Argus Foundation,  Downtown Improvement District,  Downtown Sarasota Alliance.

MPO Criteria sets funding priority … though, in this cycle, you may have projects you prefer funded ahead of completing this remaining US41 segment.   However, each project is ranked by the MPO on how well it meets MPO criteria, regardless a jurisdiction’s preference.  MPO criteria trumps.   We are convinced a City/County joint filing will earn greater criteria weight than filing separately, both as being a collaboration of jurisdictions and as a major roadway project completed.

I urge you to submit jointly with the City to the MPO for this final segment of this US41 multimodal corridor.

Thank you,  Rod Warner A Sarasota County Representative,Sarasota Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization

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