FDOT HOLDS PULIC INFORMATION ABOUT GULFSTREAM AND US 41 ROUNDABOUT
FDOT held a public information meeting this past Tuesday at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. GGPA member Eric Mower reported that there was no presentation, but rather two duplicate sets of easels displaying roundabout information visuals on foam boards plus one video playing on a laptop displaying an animated presentation of the HAWK pedestrian control system. Beyond that there were a dozen or so FDOT representatives available for questions and answerS.
The drawing of the new roundabout as it is presently conceived.
Eric was told that the project will be under development through summer of this year, and construction is slated to begin late in 2019.
A chart compared the roundabout versus a traffic lighted intersection, indicating that there are fewer accidents in a roundabout with better traffic flow.
Plans for the development of the roundabout are also being considered carefully by others in our vicinity. Roger Barry, a former Professor of Urban Planning, lives on Sunset and has had extensive conversations with FDOT and City of Sarasota traffic engineers. Roger advised us: “I came away convinced that the construction of this roundabout will significantly improve the safety of pedestrian crossings at this intersection. This roundabout will have marked crosswalks with pedestrian safety islands and for two lane crossings HAWK beacons (High-intensity Activated crosswalk beacon). HAWK beacons allowed protected pedestrian crossings, stopping road traffic only as needed.
The national research on roundabouts by the Federal Highway Administration has found a 30 to 40 percent reduction in pedestrian crashes as well as a significant reduction in fatal crashes and severity of injuries because of the slower traffic speeds.
Roundabouts are safer for bicyclist with a 10 percent reduction in bicycle crashes. Bicycles can use the roundabouts like pedestrians do, or if they are accomplished bicyclists they can use them like a regular vehicle claiming their space in mid-lane of the road.
While roundabouts improve pedestrian access and safety as compared to red light intersections their greatest benefit is the reduction of fatal crashes by 90 percent and injury crashes by 75 percent while increasing intersection traffic capacity from 30 to 50 percent. They have other benefits like operating during and after hurricanes, being less costly to maintain and enhance the movement and response times of emergency service vehicles (EMS and Fire).”
Roger explains that the roundabout will have marked crosswalks with pedestrian safety islands and for two lane crossings HAWK beacons (High-intensity Activated crosswalk beacon). HAWK beacons allowed protected pedestrian crossings, stopping road traffic only as needed. You can get more information about the HAWK beacon by clicking here.
You can access the links of the FDOT video on using roundabouts by clicking here.
Many on GGP have concerns about how a roundabout will be handled by tourists who are new to Sarasota and not sure of where they are going and certainly won’t t have the background to understand HAWK lights or roundabouts in general. Eric raised that that issue on behalf of the GGPA with an FDOT representative, who acknowledged that it is an issue. The FDOT representative did not give Eric a proposed solution for that issue.
Roger pointed out that in Europe roundabout training starts in school as part of their drivers education program, and that we have a long way to go here. He and his wife are working on different ways to educate local residents on how to use the roundabout.
Our thanks to Eric for attending the Public Information meeting on the GGPA’s behalf and expressing the concerns about walkability and bicycle access to downtown, as well as Roger's insight into this issue..
CITY OF SARASOTA INTERACTIVE DEVELOPMENT MAP
t's not hard to spot cranes when looking in any direction downtown. In addition to the projects you can see, there are many in the planning stages in the downtown area. Information about these projects is now readily available in one convenient place on a new city Interactive Map. The interactive map shows the location of projects. When you click on the location, basic information in a scroll down list appears about each project, such as the number of units, estimated cost, projected completion date, developer and architect.
For example, you will find that The Embassy Suites on the corner of Fruitville and Tamiami is being developed by JEBCO Ventures, is slated for 18 stories and 180 hotel rooms, and should be completed by spring or summer. It will tell you that the Ovation Hotel will have 164 rooms, is estimated to cost $13 million, and has a projected opening this spring. The estimated cost of the Vue is $120,712,600 and CO's are being issued now for individual units. A CO was issued for the Jewel in August 1, 2017. All of this information is available elsewhere; what's new about this interactive map is that it is an easy way to access it and the city will be updating it.
The Interactive Map shows two projects currently slated for Golden Gate Point, 609 (The Pearl) for 8 units and 680 (the corner of Fruitville and the entrance to GGP) for 15 units. Clicking on the link gives the status of the each those projects' development.
Link to the Interactive Map by Clicking Here
Help Keep Storm Drains Working -Keep Clippings Off of Street and Out of Storm Drains
Sometimes lawn service companies blow leaves and clippings into the street or onto neighbors' properties, which often enter the storm drains. This can clog drains and lead to flooding. Please be sure to make your lawn service provider pick up clippings, or put them safely on your property somewhere. Explain to them that leaving them in the street puts everyone (and our cars) at risk.
GGPA and STORM DRAINAGE
GPA experienced flooding in late March and June this year. Flooding on GGPA may occur when tides are high and there is heavy rain.
There are “Spring Tides” when the sun, moon and earth are all aligned during a full or new moon. There are also “King Tides” in late May, when US coastal areas experience very high tides, again when the moon is aligned with the earth and sun, and is closest to the earth. When a Spring Tide and King Tide comes together, it makes matters worse.
If this all sounds too much like the Age of Aquarius, let’s just say that when times of high tide coincide with times of substantial rain, GGP may experience flooding. Flooding this year occurred more on the west side of GGP nearer to new construction.
GGPA’s Board of Directors have begun exploring how this very occasional but troublesome problem can be addressed.
GGPA’s Board asked GGPA member, Cindy Taliaferro, Toscano (205) if she could help. Cindy has experience in Sarasota waterway matters (See Cindy’s bio in Member Spotlight).
Cindy contacted Harold Roebuck, County Stormwater Operations Manager II, who met Cindy and GGPA Treasurer Denise Watermeier on GGPA a few weeks ago. Mr. Roebuck inspected the storm drains and discussed the issues relating to flooding.
Apparently, One88 (188) and Toscano (205) GGP are at the low point of GGP. Storm sewers are at water level, and the increase in impervious area due to new construction on the west side of GGP has increased the outflow requirement. High tides negatively affect the ability to move water into the bay. The City enforces the Codes and is responsible for installation of storm sewers and the county maintains the existing lines
Mr. Roebuck scheduled a cleaning of the three GGP storm sewers with a truck and vacuum line to suck the entire length of the two affected storm sewers, the closest to One 88 and Alta Mer (306) GGP. There was silt accumulation in the 306 GGP outflow.
The outflows also have substantial barnacle growth which limit the amount of outflow at times of high rain. The County will be scheduling the removal of barnacles on the outflows shortly.
Once the outflows are addressed, we will see to what extent this will mitigate the water during heavy rains. The GGPA will consider what steps will need to be taken to reduce the likelihood of the storm drains becoming clogged. Mr. Roebuck has advised that floating debris will need to be removed in areas near storm sewers. This includes mulch and other materials, such as papers and recycling materials, that will float.
GGPA will continue its efforts to keep these storm drains clear.
What you can do about OCCASIONAL flooding on GGP
V curbs or V drains are the concrete alleys between the sidewalk and road surface.
These alleys are intended to control and direct the flow of water during rains. When trash and recycle receptacles are placed on top of the V drains, water is diverted intothe roadway and it swells and pools creating a pond effect. Water needs velocity and pressureof the continuous force of the flow to push the rainwater into the bay. Obstructing this flow causes the water to collect and swell into the vegetation, causing floating debris, which then plugs the drains as the water slowly recedes.
This means they need to be on the driveway or in the street, off of the drains. If they are smaller bins, they need to be covered.
Water needs to run down this concrete channel- don't block the V-drain!
Make sure that your trash and recycling receptacles do not block the water. Put them on your driveway or outside of the channel so that the water's velocity can push eh water into the drains and bay.
Here the receptacles are outside the V-drain
Remove as much floating debris from your landscaping
Don't add mulch near the street or where it could float away in high winds or a heavy rain-- use rocks, grass, or ground cover instead where possible.
You will see him in the photo with Tom Dowdy. Tom and Maria have recently moved into Vista Bay, and we welcome them and their new puppy too!
Meet and Greets- See Photos on Photo Page
News & Events
MEET AND GREET
About 50 GGPA members turned out for a Meet and Greet on April 3, 2018 at Alta Mer (306 GGP). Everyone had a good time and music by Siesta John added to the fun.
Lido Beach PARKING AND Access at Risk
Former GGPA Bord Member, Cathy Antunes, 378 GGP, speaks to GGPA Board about parking and access to Lido Beach at GGPA February Board Meeting
Cathy Antunes, former Board Member of Golden Gate Point Association, has long kept the GGPA abreast of important issues that could affect us on Golden Gate Point. The following is her report to the GGPA Board of directors about recent city actions that threaten to affect access to Lido Beach:
"Last November, city commissioners approved a 30 year lease for Lido Beach Pool & Pavilion. Changes planned to the pavilion could effectively crowd out our ability to access our own beach. The current 100 seat restaurant is slated to be replaced by a 300 seat restaurant. Add the 28,000 square foot special events area that is planned, and you can be sure the parking lot (with just under 300spots) will quickly fill with restaurant patrons, wedding or other special event attendants, and the facility’s staff. For Golden Gate Point residents, not being able to park means no access.
The deal allows the pool and pavilion to be rented at a bargain basement price – $80,000 - $140,000 a year. When you consider that St. Armand’s rents are muchhigher (without a beachfront location), it's easy to see what a giveaway this lease is. The City’s lease also permits alcohol consumption until 10:30 at night, while hotels and other venues most stop serving at 7:00 pm, setting the stage for aparty, rather than a family, atmosphere. For this lease to take effect with these changes, the City Commission must approve two land use changes: the rezonand site plan change. This isn’t over - the City Commission must deny these land use changes. Your help is needed."
Cathy invites GGPA residents to send her their email address to email@example.com to receive updates on this issue, and she will let our members know when the City will be voting on the land use changes, and how they can contact the City Commissioners to reverse course on this plan for Lido Beach Pool and Pavillion.
Cathy suggests that if you'd like to read more about this subject, you can find additional information by clicking here.
GGPA ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
John Ryan, Sarasota County Environmental Manager, Stormwater Utility, spoke at GGPA's annual membership meeting on January 20, 2018 at the Bird Key Yacht Club.
Over 60 GGPA members heard John's interesting talk about public and private efforts to preserve the Bay, and how GGP’s stormwater system works in relation to the Bay. John spoke about the many things that GGP residents can do to improve the health of the bay. He spoke about careful fertilizer use, making sure plastics aren't left on the ground, and the need for pervious paving materials. Cindy Taliaferro reminded GGPA members of the need to have trash receptacles kept off of v-drains to allow water to flow with velocity.
John and his wife, Ronda Ryan, coordinate water-related cleanups for Sarasota Bay Watch. Sarasota BayWatch does annual bay cleanups in which they remove vast amounts of plastic from the bay-- plastics which kill marine life. They are also trying to put together a dive clean up at the Tony Saporito Fishing Pier (near Hart's Landing).
More information about Sarasota Bay Watch and its events can be found by clicking here.
GGPA Board Meeting, Tuesday, February 20 at 4:00, Alta Mer, 306 GGP. Any members who are interested in attending, please reply to goldengatepointassociation @gmail.com so tht we can have enough chairs available.
Landscaping Upgrades: Rocks, Trees, More
At GGPA's request, the City has replaced mulch in low lying areas. These large rocks are selected because they don't float away in high water. This change addresses the need to keep mulch away from areas that may occasionally flood and clog storm drains. Other sections of the GGP streetscape in low lying areas are scheduled for rocks as well. Other improvements include new trees replacing the ones felled during Irma, as well as a new doggie bag station.
Golden Gate Point Association Cleans up GGP
Golden Gate Point came through pretty well with Irma-- there were trees and vegetation lost but thankfully, no major structural damage was reported.
Two mature trees on the west side of GGP near 306 came down and the City came by almost immediately after the storm and removed them and vegetation which posed a threat to safe travel. We appreciate the City's prompt response to make GGP safe and passable so soon after the hurricane.
This left substantial additional downed vegetation along the streetscape. GGP has three storm drains-- one by 188 and 205, another by 306, and a third by 550. All three were blocked by substantial piles of vegetation.
The City presently serves as the landscaping contractor for GGP. The GGPA Board asked when the City could expect a second pass to remove the vegetation particularly over the three storm drains on GGP. The GGPA Board has worked hard with the County to have the storm drains cleaned; recently the County spent about a week cleaning the mussels from the storm drain outflows on GGP as well as the one nearby on Gulfstream.
The City replied that no area would receive a second pass until at least the end of October. It was then that the GGPA Board considered taking action.
An opportunity for a fast cleanup was presented by Military Cut, a company owned by GGPA member, Sarah Garrison, who lives at 420 GGP. GGPA's Board retained Military Cut and the work was done this past Wednesday and Thursday. Military Cut removed the storm debris blocking the three storm drains, and cleaned up the hurricane debris left on the rest of the streetscape. They did a terrific job and saved our area from waiting at least a few more weeks for the second cleanup and the risk of substantial flooding should we get rain.
Military Cut's mission is provide veterans with career path training that can be applied to the civilian workforce. Their goal is to help vets to use the skills they developed in the military--leadership, discipline and reliability-- and learn how to apply to those skills to working in and managing a business in the private sector. Their employees become salaried and are offered profit sharing plans. You can read more about Military Cut here.
2017 Annual Meeting Program about Special Taxing District on Members' Page
For those who weren't able to attend the Annual Meeting in January, 2017, but would like to read about the city-GGP special taxing district and landscaping issues, please see Member's Page, where archival materials are stored.
Members - Access the Member Page which has More information
The Member Page has the minutes of meetings, a copy of each email sent to members, formation documents, a roster of members, past articles of interest and more.
Remember that to log into the Member Page you'll need the member password.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to have it sent to you.