April 2 City of Sarasota Main Street ‘visioning workshop’ planned at Selby Library

City staff working on complete street proposal seeking public involvement in process

This is an image of the interactive map available through the project webpage. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

From 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2, the City of Sarasota will host what its staff is calling a Main Street visioning workshop.

The event is scheduled to be held in the Jack J. Geldbart Auditorium at Selby Library, which stands at 1331 First St. in downtown Sarasota, a city news release says.

Transforming Main Street between U.S. 41 and School Avenue into a complete street “is the No. 8 priority in the City of Sarasota’s Transportation Master Plan adopted by the City Commission in 2019,” the release explains.

“The visioning workshop will begin with a brief presentation by the project team explaining the goals of the initiative. Improvements to sidewalks, landscaping, public parking and more are being considered to promote a Main Street that is pedestrian-friendly, attractive, accessible and even more desirable as a destination,” the release points out.

Participants may attend one of the four 30-minute sessions planned, the release notes: 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m.

Each session, which will be led by a project team member, will be limited to approximately 50 participants, the release says. Attendees will review the existing Main Street conditions and then “build their own Main Street by offering their unique ideas and collaborating with others to create a vision for the corridor,” the release adds.

“To help shape the spirit of the Main Street complete streets project, a video station will be available for participants to record their vision in their own words,” the release continues.

To reserve a space for the April 2 event, interested members of the public are asked to sign up via this Eventbrite link. “Registration is limited to one session per person,” the news release cautions.

“Additional community outreach events will be announced in the coming weeks,” including two open houses during which people can drop in as they please, to learn about the Main Street complete streets project and share their ideas, the release notes.

In the meantime, city staff is encouraging residents, business owners, property owners and visitors “to complete a brief online survey about Main Street via this link. The survey is open through Friday, April 26.

These are part of the survey questions. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

Further, the project webpage on the city website includes a “Main Street Comment Map,” The Sarasota News Leader found. Individuals may click on orange balloons in specific areas of Main Street and its environs, and initial comments will pop up.

For example, a click on part of Bayfront Drive brings up the following: “In my ideal world, there would be light rail on Tamiami [Trail] from the Airport through the South bridge to Siesta.” The person may choose to agree or disagree with the comment and then add the individual’s own remarks.

To learn more details about the Main Street initiative, persons may visit the project webpage — www.Sarasotafl.gov/MainStreetCompleteStreets — or contact the chief transportation planner and project manager, Alvimarie Corales, at Alvimarie.Corales@sarasotafl.gov.