SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - After nearly two years of planning, The Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization has unveiled their “Transform 2045” long range transportation plan.
The plan was presented to local officials Monday and outlines all of the transportation developments that will take place over the next 25 years along the Suncoast. They are planning for things like autonomous vehicles, sea level rise, and storm surge. The plan doesn’t just include roads, it also plans for things like airports and making areas more pedestrian and bike friendly.
The long range plan has several "beaches and baseball " projects which will improve transportation to the beaches and the spring training baseball fields. Another area of focus is the intersection of University Parkway and U.S. 41.
“If you think about it that’s the gateway for both of our counties for people who fly to our area. And so we want it to be really beautiful. We want them to get off the plane and go to US 41 and go wow, look where we are. This is so beautiful and it’s also where our universities are and we need to make it more accessible and safer for the students who go to the colleges on US 41,” said Sarasota/Manatee MPO’s Strategic Planning Manager, Leigh Holt.
The “Transform 2045” plan has a budget over a billon dollars from state and federal funding, which will be used over the 25 year time period. Even though the plan was unveiled to local leaders, feedback is still wanted from the community.
“It’s available for a 30 day public comment period. So anyone can go in and they can comment on individual projects. They can say, yes I want you to build this in my neighborhood, or no I really don’t like roundabouts or I love roundabouts so that’s the most important thing. We want citizen input,” Holt said.
Sarasota/Manatee MPO board will vote on the plan on October 26th. After that it will go to The Florida Department of Transportation, The Federal Highway Administration, and The Federal Transit Administration for review and approval.
If you would like to view the plan and give feedback, click here.