SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Walking to Lido beach will be easier for those who live nearby. New sidewalks are being constructed along Polk and Ford Drives connecting them to the beach.
“There’s a lot of foot traffic,” said Pam Shirley, who lives on Polk Drive for the past 6 years.
She says she chose this location because she loves walking to the beach. But in order to get there, she has to share the road with cars.
“I do have a dog that doesn’t like seashells because it hurt her feet, so she likes to walk on the street which is not good,” she said.
Soon, that will change. The City of Sarasota will be adding a sidewalk outside her home, as well on Ford drive, which will connect both streets to the beach. This is part of a Citywide Sidewalk Connectivity Plan.
“When it was developed, it’s looking at the aerial, where the sidewalks are missing and where have we heard from residents that they will like to see connectivity,” said Megan Lui, transportation planner for the city.
Part of this plan is to allow people walk to schools, parks, commercials areas, and also get them moving.
“It provides other options, besides driving your car from origin to destination,” saod Lui.
The city mapped out nearby areas that will see sidewalks in the future, like Benjamin Franklin Drive.
Some residents, like Shirley, say they’re glad for this as they fear for their own safety.
“There’s some people who are very cautious, like this one going on the side of the road but slow, and there are others who go very fast,” said Shirley.
But at the same time Shirley is concerned about how much space the sidewalks will occupy.
“How much are they going to take? Because there’s some of us who spent so much on landscaping, others not,” she said.
City officials say the size of the sidewalk will be 6-foot-wide. Construction will begin early July, and it’s expected to be completed by the end of this summer.