VENICE, FL (WWSB) - When it was first designed, Sarasota County hoped the roundabout would accomplish two important tasks, "It would slow traffic down and two it would be safer in terms of fatalities. Both are correct," said Jim Bennett.
While it has stopped fatal accidents, driver Jackie Jones is still uncomfortable with it.
"I have to be honest, when I approach it I approach it very carefully," Jones said.
Venice Regional Hospital, which wants to build a new hospital nearby, hired a company to study the roundabout. While the Florida Department of Transportation suggests two-lane roundabouts not exceed daily traffic of 45,000 cars, the Hospital's study says the roundabout is at 41,200.
"So much depends when you take the data both time of year and time of day and weather. You think about it there are all sorts of problems," Bennett said.
Bennett, who served five years on the Metropolitan Planning Organization, said he wouldn't be surprised if Sarasota County removed the roundabout, especially if either of the connecting roads was widened.
"I don't think they have any money to increase the roundabout size or redesign it once more," Bennett said.
As for Jones, she see's the benefit of the roundabout but worries about increased growth in the area… if more people are using it, it may become dangerous.
"I don't think the roundabout is the safest way for heavy traffic to travel," Jones said.
Sarasota County tells us they are reviewing the study, but they couldn't say more than that. The study suggests the roundabout will exceed FDOT's maximum daily amount of drivers by the year 2020.