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Local Government Future of El Conquistador Parkway Still Uncertain, Though Plans are Taking Shape


BRADENTON -- At Tuesday's BOCC workshop, Tony Rodriguez from Building and Development, and Sage Kamiya from Public Works discussed with commissioners a variety of options for the El Conquistador Boulevard Parkway. Currently, trucks are allowed, but the lane sizes for pedestrian, golf cart and bicycle paths have not been decided. Whether through trucks will be directed around a large portion of the boulevard has not been finalized. Most of the commissioners agree that keeping the 30 to 35 MPH speed limit is a good idea.

IMG Sports Academy is on the east portion of the boulevard, and although they have a school, most of their students drive to campus or will live there when their dorms are built, so they will not be requesting a school-zone speed reduction. The projected $2.2 million dollar project, once completed, will run between U.S. 41 and Cortez. There are a couple of intersections that present a challenge because of poor visibility. Roundabouts and or traffic lights to handle the two intersections have yet to be decided, and whether the road will be two or four lanes is still in the air. Many options were discussed, but no decisions were made.

Kamiya introduced the commission to what is known as "conflict points." These are where paths, from different vehicles going in different directions at an intersection, might conflict with one another. Cars, bikes, golf carts and pedestrians all have different conflict points, and therefore possible hazards. Because of the different dynamics each vehicle and person presents, the decision on how many lanes, or even what type of highway to build, remains in question.

In the end, commissioners have to decide just what paradigm they feel is appropriate for the area. A couple of neighbors showed up to lend their voice, both saying "Hidden Road" needed special attention, because of what it's name makes obvious. Both wanted to keep the neighborhood feel, and agreed that the speed needed to stay low. Commissioners seemed to be on the same page and look forward to the next workshop to come up with some answers.


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