Sarasota Police Department wins grant for pedestrian and bicycle safety awareness program

Initiative underway in five areas of the city of Sarasota

The Sarasota Police Department is on Adams Lane. File photo

The Sarasota Police Department has received a grant for a pedestrian and bicycle safety awareness program that recently began in five areas of the city, the department has announced.

The campaign, which kicked off the first week of January, is the result of a partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the University of South Florida’s (USF) Center for Urban Transportation Research, a news release explains. FDOT and USF provided the funding, the release adds.

Officers are observing situations, educating the public and enforcing traffic laws in the five selected areas “in an attempt to reduce the number of pedestrian, bicycle and motor vehicle crashes,” the release adds.

The city segments were chosen on the basis of crash data involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles, as well as figures showing how many pedestrians use specific city intersections, the release points out. The five areas follow:

  • North Washington Corridor (State Road 683, from the 1000 block to the 2700 block).
  • North Tamiami Trail Corridor (State Road 45 from Mound Street to University Parkway).
  • South Tamiami Trail Corridor (State Road 45 from Mound Street to Hyde Park Street).
  • North Washington Corridor (State Road 683 from the 300 block to the 1000 block).
  • Downtown corridor (Main Street from the 100 block to the 2000 block) .

“The safety of our community is our No. 1 priority,” said Sgt. Bruce King of the Police Department’s Traffic Unit in the release. “We want every driver, pedestrian and bicyclist to know and understand the rules of the road,” he added in the release. “Safety doesn’t happen by accident.”

All the officers’ contacts with the public will be documented, and results will be sent to FDOT for evaluation at the conclusion of the campaign, the release notes.