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Downtown Construction | Downtown Parking Study |Scenic Highway
Lido Beach | 17th Street Improvement | Mobility Study | Recreation Trail
Downtown Sarasota Mobility Study
 

INTRODUCTION

The Downtown Sarasota Mobility Study serves as a complement to the recently adopted City of Sarasota Downtown Master Plan 2020 (Downtown Master Plan). The Study was sponsored by both the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the City of Sarasota. The effort included other involved agencies and parties to help identify measures to modify, alter, and enhance the area's transportation network and its governing policies, as needed to support implementation of the adopted Downtown Master Plan.

PURPOSE

The Downtown Sarasota Mobility Study is to serve as a compliment to the City of Sarasota Downtown Master Plan 2020 (Downtown Master Plan), identifying measures that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), City of Sarasota, and other agencies and parties can undertake to modify, alter, and enhance the area's transportation network and its governing policies, as needed to support implementation of the adopted Downtown Master Plan. In addition to the standard transportation planning skills, Kimley-Horn & Associates is the consultant that has been selected to perform the Study due to their experience in designing pedestrian scale urban transportation projects and systems (also known as TND or New Urbanism transportation elements) to assure an adequate understanding of the Downtown Master Plan.

BACKGROUND AND PROJECT HISTORY

Public and private investment in the City's downtown area over the last 15 years has resulted in low office vacancies, rejuvenation of the shopping and cultural life and renewed interest in the Downtown area by the development community.

However, as with many Florida cities, Sarasota's transportation system is out of balance due to increased demand and emphasis on auto-based mobility. Now, initial steps are being taken to increase walkability and enhance the attractiveness of other travel modes such as pedestrian, bicycle and transIT .

On January 22, 2001, the City Commission adopted the Downtown Master Plan (prepared by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company). The main objective of this Downtown Master Plan is to lead Sarasota toward creating a more walkable and livable downtown area.

STUDY AREA AND BOUNDARIES

The primary study area was the limits of the City's Downtown Community Redevelopment Area (CRA). The secondary study area was expanded by the Consultant, to be sufficient in size and to adequately address study objectives, including such issues as; (a) rerouting of US 41 away from the downtown Bayfront area, (b) diversion of through traffic to other roadways and modes as a result of implementing Downtown Master Plan recommendations, and (c) assessing the impact of the Downtown Master Plan on the barrier islands, and shall be reviewed with, and approved by, FDOT Project Manager and the City Engineer.

STUDY OBJECTIVES

FDOT and the City have the transportation planning goal of balancing the usability of all transportation modes for its citizens and visitors. The Downtown Master Plan made several specific transportation system improvement recommendations. The impacts of these recommendations need to be analyzed.

The primary purpose of the Downtown Sarasota Mobility Study was to identify courses of action and strategies that can be implemented to increase mobility within the downtown area, support implementation of the adopted Downtown Master Plan, and increase the attractiveness of multimodal travel choices for area citizens and visitors. The focus of the Study was on the mobility of persons and goods rather than the mobility of vehicles.

The following is a list of specific objectives that provided the focus for the Study:

  1. Determine the role of the State Highway System (SHS) within the Downtown area; quantify the potential impact of removing the SHS designation from the portion of US 41 between Fruitville Road and Washington Boulevard (US 301); determine the volume of through trips on SHS facilities that travel through Downtown but are not destined to any Downtown site; identify alternate facility(s) that may be appropriate alternate routes for addition to the SHS and designation as US 41; and identify the appropriate route(s) for linking SR 789, west of existing US 41, to the SHS in the event that Tamiami Trail (US 41) is removed from the SHS.
  2. Quantify the level of service (LOS) impacts of the adopted Downtown Master Plan on Downtown streets and intersections; perform quality of service assessments of pedestrian, bicycle and transIT travel modes under existing conditions and following implementation of Downtown Master Plan recommendations; and identify pedestrian, bicycle and transIT plans, policies, amenities and concept designs for intersections that need to be implemented or modified in support of the Downtown Master Plan recommendations and to further the City's goal of increased multimodal and intermodal options for area citizens.
  3. Identify roadways located outside of the Downtown area that are impacted by the new distribution of traffic around and to the Downtown area and quantify the levels of said impact.
  4. Identify modifications to the City's Transportation Concurrency Exception Area (TCEA) boundaries and policies that may be required to support the Downtown Master Plan and address transportation issues identified during the course of the Study.
  5. Determine the impact of the adopted Downtown Master Plan on hurricane response capabilities and emergency vehicle response times for the Downtown area and the barrier islands.
  6. Determine the impact of the adopted Downtown Master Plan on access to and from the barrier islands.

PROGRESS TO DATE

All phases of the Study have been completed. The Downtown Sarasota Mobility Study was adopted by the City Commission on March 30, 2004. Only two items were not adopted which were the two lanning of Bayfront Drive and the redesignation of US 41 (Bayfront Drive)

Click here to view the Downtown Sarasota Mobility Study Implementation Handbook

 

 

QUESTIONS?

E-mail the Project Managers:

 
Sam Freija osama_freija@sarasotagov.com
John Czerepak john.czerepak@dot.state.fl.us

 

 
   
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