SUBJECT: U.S. 41 Bypass project coming
The City of Venice is celebrating the start of a project that has been more than two decades in the making. With the state fiscal year beginning on July 1, right-of-way acquisition for the addition of two lanes to U.S. 41 Bypass inside the city limits (between Bird Bay Drive and Gulf Coast Boulevard) is funded. The Florida Department of Transportation will begin construction around 2014.
Adding a northbound and a southbound lane to the existing bypass will make it consistent with U.S. 41 north of Bird Bay Drive and south of Center Road. It will greatly enhance the daily flow of traffic, provide for better emergency hurricane evacuation, and offer an efficient alternative route when there is a serious accident on I-75.
Other improvements include bike lanes, sidewalks, landscaping, street lights and signalization.
Although the use of roundabouts instead of signaled intersections was considered for the project, an FDOT evaluation in 2009 determined it is not appropriate for this project and consequently there are no roundabouts in its design.
Venice City Council and the community at large have supported the widening project since it was requested by the city in 1989. It remained a top priority of the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization. Several million dollars have been expended for engineering studies, design and evaluation. The city is grateful for the support of FDOT, MPO, Sarasota County, and the funding by state legislators that has brought us to this point in starting this long awaited-for project.
Posted By Pam Johnson at 11:29 PM in Category:Inside Venice
26 Jun 2011
Pam Johnson's statement that the Venice Council and community at large supports widening the Bypass is not true. Council and the community are generally in support of improving the Bypass. No one was ever told or knew that there was/is a far better way to improve the Bypass than by adding lanes which has been proven to significantly increase driver and pedestrian fatality rates. Using roundabouts instead of adding lanes has been proven to significantly reduce fatalities and injuries, is better for businesses, better for the environment, and, more attractive. They are also less expensive to maintain and better in a hurricane/wind damage prone area such as ours. Roundabouts are state of the art while adding lanes on roads like the Bypass is an obsolete "dead" method. The Bypass is not a thruway. Like the entire US 41, it is a destination heavily patronized by shoppers, diners and residents who live near it and/or work at businesses located on it. The fact that some sections of US 41 have had lanes added doesn't make it the best way to do things. What needs to happen is to change all of the signalized intersections on the entire US 41 to roundabouts so that US 41 can live up to its designation as a scenic highway instead of the site for the many memorials along the roadside to all the people killed in accidents on it...