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Local Government Manatee County Readies for "Complete Streets


BRADENTON -- Multi-modal streets are on the move. Sidewalks, bike trails and landscaping are being incorporated into outward paths of travel for our pleasure, health and environment. "Complete Streets" offers a dose of quality for those that live in Manatee's urban, suburban and rural environments. Soon the hustle and bustle of getting around will be a thing of the past.


Manatee County's Complete Streets project focuses on finding the right size amenities to align its highways, while taking some of the congestion from the center lane to designated roadside lanes. Focus to entice alternative modes of travel with prescribed trails and paths that fit the needs and circumstances of each location. 


Nick Lepp, Project Manager for the Renaissance Planning Group, delivered a presentation to Manatee's Planning Commission at their meeting Thursday. Lepp demonstrated how the project coordinates automotive and transit, along with pedestrian and bicycle travel, into a multi-modal design that offers option to getting around.


Different streets require different designs to ensure safe travel throughout the county. Lepp proposed four pilot corridors, with each a different type of mobility, focused on criteria and performance standards.


The four pilot areas are: 41st Street North, 41st Street South, 15th Street and 26th Street including 60th Avenue. Each corridor is an example of a different type of mobility, and each will have its own formula to provide safe pedestrian, bike, transit, and automotive travel.


Complete Streets are roadways designed to accommodate all users, including but not limited to motorist, cyclist, pedestrians, transit and school bus riders, delivery and service personnel, freight haulers, and emergency responders.


The Complete Streets Working Group says alternative modes of travel relieves road congestion, reduces stress, provides exercise, reduces pollution and saves on costly fuel. The Group says Complete Streets also increases the opportunity for grants, thus enhancing economic stability. 


The Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval to amend the Manatee County Comprehensive Plan ordinance 89-01, to include a Complete Streets design. 


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