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City of Sarasota Logo
NEWS RELEASE
City Hall
1565 First Street
Sarasota, FL 34236

For Immediate Release: February 3, 2012

RINGLING BOULEVARD CLOSES TO MOTORIZED TRAFFIC;
CROSSINGS CONSTRUCTED FOR PEDESTRIANS

Sarasota, FL: To expedite ongoing downtown improvements, Ringling Boulevard between Orange Avenue and Bayfront Drive (U.S. 41) will be temporarily closed to motorized traffic while two roundabouts are constructed. The closure is scheduled to begin Sunday, February 5 at midnight. Electronic message boards will be placed along U.S. 41 and throughout downtown alerting motorists to the closure and detour. Sarasota Police officers will be on site to assist with the initial change.

Work crews immediately will begin constructing two permanent pedestrian crossings to connect downtown to the Burns Square Business District. The crossings are a top priority and are expected to be finished within 3-4 weeks. One crossing will be near the intersection of Ringling and Pineapple Avenue. The other will be along Bayfront Drive. The crossings, which will include sidewalks, will provide a safe area for pedestrians to maneuver around the roundabouts construction zone.

To ease parking congestion, the surface parking lot at Laurel Street and Orange Avenue is now open and free to the public with no time restrictions. (Overnight parking is prohibited.) The City Commission recently approved leasing the lot with free parking for six months. It is hoped the additional 63 free spaces will provide convenient parking for visitors to the Burns Square Business District during the construction.

For those who prefer to catch a ride, the City is continuing to partner with the Green Hopper to provide complimentary shuttle service around the Burns Square Business District. Hours for the Ringling Roundabout Express will remain the same:

• Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Thursday – Saturday 6:30 p.m. – 2 a.m. (regular Green Hopper hours -- on call service only)

During 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. hours, contact the Green Hopper at 877-323-7238 ext. 2. From 6:30 p.m. – 2 a.m., press 5 to speak with a driver.

There are 17 convenient stops along Pineapple Avenue, Gulfstream Avenue, Lemon Avenue, Main Street, Orange Avenue, Selby Lane and Palm Avenue. Click here to view a route map.

The intersections of Palm Avenue and Pineapple Avenue are being transformed into modern roundabouts which will reduce fuel emissions while creating a visually appealing downtown. The roundabouts will feature palm trees and plants, accented with red brick pavers.

The project also includes additional on-street parking. A total of 37 angled parking spaces will be created on Ringling Boulevard: 20 near Palm Avenue and 17 near Pineapple Avenue. Ringling Boulevard is expected to reopen to traffic by June.

For more information about the roundabouts and to register for project updates visit www.SarasotaGov.com or contact project manager Neil Gaines: 941-365-2200 ext. 6309

 


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