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Sarasota Officials To Pursue Myrtle Street Improvements

Sarasota city and county commissioners agreed to figure out a way to fund a $3 million project to add sidewalks to Myrtle Street from Washington Boulevard to Tamiami Trail.

Improvements to Sarasota's Myrtle Street will now be a top unfunded transportation priority of both Sarasota city and county.

The jurisdictions will pursue a $3 million facelift that includes a sidewalk on the south side of the road and other features after Sarasota city and county commissioners agreed Tuesday at a joint session to pursue the project.

The selection, known as Option 1B, is also slated to include a closed draining system, and a stormwater management facility to avoid paying for right-of-way acquisition along the road, according to county documents. It was one of six proposed Myrtle Street options.

Both commissions voted unanimously to pursue the option and to identify funding as soon as possible.

The improvements will take place from Washington Boulevard to Tamiami Trail. 

The project will not include bike lanes and lighting, as was proposed in Options 3A and 3B, which would have cost $8.1 million and $6.9 million respectively, according to county documents. The various options included an choices of closed or open drainage and sidewalks on one side or both sides of the street.

That stretch of north Sarasota is seeing somewhat of a revitalization in the Myrtle corridor where the opened Sept. 2 off of Myrtle at 1845 34th St., and a in 2012 at Tamiami Trail.

The Taylor Center is also hosting mentoring students from , City Commissioner Willie Charles Shaw said, who represents Newtown and parts of north Sarasota.

Because of the additional pedestrians, safety is key, he said. County Commission Vice Chairwoman Carolyn Mason agreed.

"I'm concerned at (U.S.) 301 and Myrtle because I see folks crossing back and forth to Robert Taylor from the park," she said. "That's a pretty dangerous crossing there."

Crosswalks will also be examined for safety and ADA improvements, added Jim Harriott, executive director of Sarasota County Public Works.

In addition to the sidewalks project, the county and city are working together to improve the U.S. 301 and Myrtle intersection by extending the existing eastbound left turn lane and building a eastbound to southbound right turn lane, Harriott said.

That cost is an estimated $337,000, excluding the price of acquiring the right of way, which the city owns.

"We're hoping for a very good price," Harriott said.

Proofisinthepudding November 23, 2011 at 11:58 AM
If the city owns the right of way, then why are we purchasing it? Isn't that double tax money being spent? Why are we spending money anyway? I don't get it? No jobs, houses being foreclosed on and you guys are still on a spending spree. Does it not sink in? Do you not care about people trying to keep there homes? Don't you think a $4000 tax bill on a $3000 home is outragerous? Manatee county is even worse at $6000. Break it down monthly, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!! Stop your spending and reduce home owner taxes. Maybe we need proposition 13.....
Proofisinthepudding November 23, 2011 at 11:59 AM
ERROR, ERROR . It should be a $300,000 home
Liz Taylor November 23, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Low cost, low impact solutions should be at the top of the list. Perhaps safety can be increased by reducing speed limits and stepping up enforcement. Perhaps a tree lined gravel path is a better alternative to a concrete sidewalk. Perhaps an open drainage way would be less expensive while providing habitat for our beleagured wildlife.
Proofisinthepudding November 23, 2011 at 04:36 PM
I don't care if it is a dime. This is not the time to spend money! Put it on the back shelf until the economy is better. If the county has so much money to spend, give it back to the tax payer. Do something really useful!!!!!!

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