Transforming Downtown Sarasota: Creating Safer and More Vibrant Streets

As downtown Sarasota continues to evolve and expand, the City of Sarasota is taking steps to create safer and more vibrant streets. In Gillespie Park and the Rosemary District, the city plans to transform 10th Street and Boulevard of the Arts into complete streets, prioritizing the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. These changes aim to enhance the overall experience of the community, fostering a more walkable and bikeable environment. Let's delve into the details of these exciting projects and the positive impact they will have on downtown Sarasota.

Creating Complete Streets for Safer Commutes

Transforming 10th Street and Boulevard of the Arts into complete streets to prioritize pedestrian and cyclist safety.

10th Street and Boulevard of the Arts are set to undergo a remarkable transformation as the City of Sarasota aims to create complete streets that prioritize the safety and convenience of pedestrians and cyclists. These streets will be designed to accommodate a variety of users, ensuring a more inclusive and enjoyable commuting experience.

With wider sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes, and enhanced landscaping, 10th Street will become a hub for pedestrians and cyclists alike. The addition of stormwater treatments and protected bicycle lanes will further enhance safety and sustainability. Additionally, a roundabout is planned for the intersection of North Orange Avenue and 10th Street, improving traffic flow and reducing congestion.

On Boulevard of the Arts, west of U.S. 41, the focus will be on creating a two-lane divided street with shared vehicle and bike lanes, along with a landscaped median and sidewalks separated by a beautiful landscaped border. The intersection at U.S. 41 will be raised, featuring four crosswalks functioning as a speed table, ensuring pedestrian safety.

By transforming these streets into complete streets, the City of Sarasota is taking a significant step towards creating a more sustainable and accessible community for all residents and visitors.

Gathering Public Input for Design Enhancement

Engaging the community through surveys and outreach to gather valuable input for street design elements.

The City of Sarasota recognizes the importance of community input in shaping the design elements of these transformed streets. To ensure the needs and preferences of the public are considered, the city has invited residents and businesses to participate in an online survey. This survey covers various aspects, including lighting, shade options, bench styles, paver materials, and bicycle lane barrier preferences.

In addition to the online survey, the city has also reached out to residents and businesses near the project areas through mailers and conducted targeted outreach efforts. This comprehensive approach aims to gather diverse perspectives and valuable feedback to create streets that truly reflect the community's desires.

By actively involving the public in the design process, the City of Sarasota is fostering a sense of ownership and ensuring that the transformed streets meet the needs and aspirations of the community.

Funding and Timeline for the Complete Street Projects

Securing funding through grants and the timeline for the completion of the projects.

The ambitious complete street projects for 10th Street and Boulevard of the Arts are part of the larger Sarasota in Motion Transportation Master Plan. To fund these transformative initiatives, the City of Sarasota plans to apply for a $12 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant, which will be complemented by a $3 million matching fund from the city.

While the completion date for these projects is yet to be determined, the city has scheduled a public meeting in the spring to unveil the outcomes of the survey and provide updates on the timeline. This transparent approach ensures that the community is kept informed and engaged throughout the process.

By securing the necessary funding and maintaining an open line of communication with the public, the City of Sarasota is committed to bringing these complete street projects to fruition, enhancing the city's infrastructure and quality of life.

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