May 23 meeting planned to seek public comments on latest design proposals for 10th Street/Boulevard of Arts Complete Streets project

Session to be held in SRQ Media Studio in City Hall annex

The yellow boundary shown on this graphic encompasses the area of the 10th Street/Boulevard of the Arts Complete Streets project. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

At 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, City of Sarasota staff will host a public meeting in the SRQ Media Studio to seek public comments about the latest proposed designs of the 10th Street/Boulevard of the Arts Complete Streets project, staff has announced.

The studio is located in the City Hall Annex, which stands at 1565 St. in downtown Sarasota.

A city news release reminds the public that, last fall, during two open houses and through a number of surveys, city staff asked for the public’s thoughts on the initial conceptual designs. “That feedback has been incorporated into a proposed design that will be available for review” on May 23, the release adds.

The project team would like public comments about the designs at this stage, the release notes.

The project webpage may be found at this link: www.Sarasotafl.gov/10thandBOTAcompletestreets.

A March 24 city document available on that webpage explains,

“The project will enhance approximately 1.25 miles of roadway by providing wider sidewalks, protected bicycle lanes, enhanced landscaping, and other infrastructure improvements within the City of Sarasota. The project will modify critical intersections throughout corridors that encompass neighborhoods that have been traditionally underserved. This project links the residential communities of Central Cocoanut, Gillespie Park, Downtown, Rosemary District, the Quay, and other underserved neighborhoods to recreational trail paths, employment centers, parks, essential services, schools, public amenities,” and The Bay, a 53-acre waterfront park located on Sarasota Bay.

The document notes that the project has been planned to include “approximately 0.54 miles of new protected bicycle lanes and sidewalk widening along 10th Street, 0.8 miles of shared-use markings and sidewalk widening on Boulevard of the Arts,” a roundabout at the intersection of 10th Street and North Orange Avenue, and a raised intersection at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Boulevard of the Arts.”

Further, the document points out, “The 10th Street Complete Street project will incorporate variable cross-sections that replace excess vehicle capacity with enhanced bicycle and pedestrian facilities, shade/canopy trees, low-impact stormwater development, and pedestrian lighting.”

These photos are among a number showing conditions on 10th Street, as provided in a city document released in March on the Complete Streets initiative. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

Further, the document notes that on Boulevard of the Arts, “From Sarasota Bay to Cocoanut Avenue, the landscaped median will remain. Planned improvements include, but are not limited to, sidewalk widening along both sides of the street, curb extensions at key intersections, drainage and stormwater capacity improvements,” the planting of shade/canopy trees,” enhanced landscaping and the removal of overhead power lines, with the new lines to be installed underground.

Another city document says 10th Street would be “reduced from [a] 4-lane bidirectional urban [route] to [a] 2-lane bidirectional roadway with protected bicycle lanes.”

A second document notes that Boulevard of the Arts would “remain [a] 2-lane bidirectional urban corridor.”

“Additionally,” the document says, plans call for the city to install “Street Advanced Featured Elements (S.A.F.E.) technology as needed [within] the project limits.” S.A.F.E. is a tactile in-road installment that warns drivers they are approaching intersections and high-activity pedestrian and bicyclist zones, the release explains. The technology produces a feeling similar to that created by a rumble strip.

“S.A.F.E. technology is intended to improve the overall safety of the roadway and provide a traffic calming element,” the document adds.

“Project activities will be limited to the existing ROW,” with no acquisition or off-project easements necessary, the news release says.

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