BRADENTON -- At Monday's Sarasota/Manatee MPO meeting, members considered a proposal by local business owners, local government representatives and residents, to set the U. S. 41 multimodal corridor from 14th Street through University Parkway on the State/Federal priority funding list.
Item eight on the agenda, was to adopt the 2013 Project Priority List for Transportation Alternatives and Major Improvements, and all of those who spoke felt this final segment should be moved forward.
The segments south are already funded, but once a segment is approved for funding, it can still take years to be completed, so the focus by those who spoke, was to move the final segment up on the priority list.
Richard Dorfman, Jim Bridges, Jono Miller, Linda Holland, Ron McCulla and several other residents spoke about how the multimodal corridor, when completed, would improve mobility, move traffic more freely and promote new businesses.
Holland said, "All community residents would benefit, and those without a car can walk, bike, take public transportation and even cross the street more safely."
Many of those who spoke said they were part of us41momentum.com, and that getting priority status on the MPO list of projects would improve the tax base and quality of life for the city and both counties.
They said, prioritizing funding to the U.S. 41 / University Parkway will send a message to the business community that economic development is not on the back burner.
MPO members said they don't put projects later dated ahead of others, but would see what type of trade-off could occur.
The final segment is considered Sarasota's gateway traveling south and Manatee's traveling north. The 2.5 miles of roadway improvement will have green medians, sidewalks, bike lanes and roundabouts at four intersections. Project cost estimated at $52 million.
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