City of Sarasota approves water taxi study, rejects proposed Fruitville improvements

Fruitville road improvement project

SARASOTA (WWSB) - In their Monday meeting, commissioners in the City of Sarasota were looking into plans for new ways of transportation around the city to make sure Sarasota is keeping up with growth.

One of the plans is for a water taxi. It would run on set schedules with routes from the mainland to areas like St. Armand’s Key or Ken Thompson Park.

The commissioners approved an additional $58,500 to conduct a feasibility study to make sure this would benefit our area. The total cost will be $108,500 but $50,000 had already been budgeted. Of the new funds, $48,500 come from funds the city received as a result of the BP oil spill and the remaining $10,000 will come from the planning department’s budget. A marine engineering expert will look at what infrastructure is needed for the water taxi and if these suggested routes are possible.

The other plans was for the downtown section of Fruitville Road. It had two options: 1.) keep Fruitville as a four lane road from US 41 to US 301, widen the sidewalk to 10 feet and move the bike route to second and fourth streets, or 2.) narrow Fruitville to two lanes between Cocoanut and Lemon Avenue, add 16 feet wide sidewalks and roundabouts at the Cocoanut, Central and Lemon intersections, while the rest of Fruitville remains four lanes.

Commissioners worked late into the night in deciding to reject the proposed improvements to Fruitville. Commissioners are asking to staff to go back to the drawing board for sidewalk enhancement.

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