Proposed Sarasota bicycle and pedestrian plan listen02/25/13 Olivia Kabat
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This month Sarasota County is holding several meetings to present a draft plan for bicycle and pedestrian routes. People who attend can comment on the new draft plan.
It’s part of an initiative for Sarasota to have a safer, more effective transportation system. Beth Rozansky, Sarasota County transportation planner says community safety is the number one topic on everyone's mind.
“Similar to what a lot of other communities identified when they went out for outreach on plans, the number one priority consideration people pointed out in our survey was to look at bicyclists and pedestrian safety. Safety is a big part in people feeling comfortable to use what's available as well as insuring that we're continuing to look at ways we're continuing to reduce crashes.”
Rozansky says in order to take the next step with this safety plan, it would require further direction from Sarasota leadership, more funding, and support from other sources to apply for grants.
“The bicycle and pedestrian plan is going to go to the Sarasota County Commission in Spring of this year for discussion. That plan identifies the current facilities where existing bicycle and pedestrian facilities are located within the county. It also identifies the high priority areas up for improvements. As I mentioned, those areas were identified by community input that we gained about a year ago. That input brought in about 850 survey responses as well as 50 emails to help gather the data necessary to assess the communities' feelings on the existing bicycle and pedestrian network.”
According to Rozansky, the plan uses statistics to help make streets safer for pedestrians.
“Additionally we took crash data from 2006 to 2009 and overlapped that information to help identify where future efforts need to be placed within the county.”
Rozansky says the plan also brings attention to existing infrastructure, partnerships and programs that help improve the Sarasota transportation system.
“Education is a key component of things that can be done for future improvements as far as educating all users on the road, not just bicyclists and pedestrians but also the automobile users.”