Initiative features enhanced safety measures for bicyclists
The City of Sarasota’s Ringling Trail Complete Street initiative has been recognized as the Project of the Year by the Florida Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA), the city has announced.
The recognition came during the chapter’s annual conference in Jacksonville, which was held last week, a city news release says. Assistant City Engineer Dan Ohrenstein, the project team co-leader, and city Capital Projects Manager Camden Mills accepted the award on behalf of the City of Sarasota, the release adds.
“The Ringling Trail Complete Street project transformed Ringling Boulevard into a complete street in December 2022,” the release notes. The initiative “enhanced bicycle safety measures and expanded multimodal and connectivity opportunities” among The Legacy Trail, downtown Sarasota and the bayfront, the release notes. The Trail, which stretches for 1 mile between Lime and Pineapple avenues, “features protected bike lanes for a safer road experience for recreational cyclists and commuters,” the release points out.
The Project of the Year award was presented in the Transportation category for initiatives with an expense in the $2 million to $5 million range, the release adds.
“This is a significant recognition,” said City Engineer Nikesh Patel in the release. “For the Ringling Trail Complete Street to rise to the top and be recognized as Project of the Year is an honor. Congratulations to the entire project team and the community for this successful project,” Patel added in the release.
“APWA judges considered many criteria for the Project of the Year, including community need, commitment to sustainability, accomplishments under adverse conditions, economic challenges and creative use of resources,” the release explains.
“This was the first protected bicycle lane project in the Sarasota-Manatee region, coupled with lane repurposing, and community conversations occurred during the pandemic,” Assistant City Engineer Ohrenstein pointed out in the release. “We embarked on extensive community outreach online which, while challenging, resulted in higher citizen interest and participation than previous Public Works engagement meetings,” he added.
Ringling Boulevard between U.S. 41 and Lime Avenue “was identified as a potential complete street in 2019 when the City Commission approved the Multi-Modal Connections Plan,” the release notes.
The $2.7-million Ringling Trail Complete Street project was paid for through the Sarasota County Penny Sales Tax — or Surtax — Program, City of Sarasota Economic Development Department funds, multimodal impact fees and federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars, the release says.
For cost-saving and sustainability purposes, the release continues, the project incorporated in-house construction engineering and inspection services and the reallocation of concrete parking wheel stops as bicycle lane dividers, respectively.
“More cyclists are traveling between The Legacy Trail and downtown core since the protected bike lanes were installed along the Ringling Trail and that’s translating into economic growth,” said City Manager Marlon Brown in the release. “To have public works professionals from around the state take note and declare it Project of the Year is icing on the cake.”
The APWA Florida Chapter membership includes professionals from the public and private sectors who specialize in engineering and technology, transportation, stormwater management, right-of-way issues, fleet services, and emergency management, the release notes.
Additional information about the Ringling Trail Complete Street is available at www.SarasotaFL.gov.
1 thought on “City of Sarasota’s Ringling Trail Complete Street wins Project of Year honors from Florida Chapter of American Public Works Association”
Congratulations on The Ringling Trail Complete Street project to Assistant City Engineer Dan Ohrenstein, City Capital Projects Manager Camden Mills and City Engineer Nikesh Patel, PE.
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