MPO Bypass presentation Jan 23 2012


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Five min presentation to the Sarasota Manatee MPO board advocating FHWA promoted "wide nodes, narrow road" as today's best practice for safer, lower cost, better mobility than “widen it” - by focusing on intersection management with modern roundabouts where geography allows. Presented by Rod Warner, Sarasota County representative to the MPO Citizens Advisory Commiittee.

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MPO Bypass presentation Jan 23 2012

  1. 1. It’s not all metal boxes on wheels. It’s about people… And how they deal with the roadways the MPO and the FDOT put before them.
  2. 2. So widen the US41 Venice Bypass to relieve congestion? Like 2-3 p.m. “peak hour” last Friday – East/West backup at Venice Ave and Center Rd.
  3. 3. PEER consultant says go ahead – build Center Rd and Venice Ave to nine lanes wide – BUT WAIT, he then says, You can’t build your way out of congestion there. See above what 9+ lanes do to current width of Venice ave Bypass intersection.
  4. 4. Because the North/South flow will have to stop at those Bypass RED let East/West volume take its turn to cross…even if the Bypass was 14 lanes wide. > “Crossing Traffic Defeats Widening” Simple Truth #2 at
  5. 5. Mobility engineers know the axiom: Intersections Determine Capacity, not the width of the road between. Why mess with what’s between when it’s the crossing traffic taking its turn that brings North/South flow to repeated stops for red lights.?
  6. 6. Venice officials believe widening the Bypass will keep traffic away from US41Bus and Pinebrook.
  7. 7. But Wait! … Sarasota County will widen Pinebrook to four lanes up to Laurel Rd.
  8. 8. County connects from Pinebrook/Laurel Rd to Honore extended.
  9. 9. Or choose to drive a widened I-75.
  10. 10. PEER Report says in AIM Doc #1: If Pinebrook is four laned, the Bypass as it is today at four lanes will “accommodate 2035 volume”
  11. 11. Six lane Bypass capital cost $68-72 million/ Pinebrook about half that... What a bargain with Pinebrook widened and Bypass staying four lanes!
  12. 12. Nine laned unrelieved congestion at Venice Ave and Center Rd will aggravate. Frustrated drivers, and aging Venice drivers intimated by speed and multi-lanes, will choose US41Bus or Pinebrook, or other routes, doing what Venice officials thought Bypass widening would avert.
  13. 13. As the PEER wrote, he did, page 23, “Motorists are better served by four-lane roadways rather than six lanes, by roundabouts rather than signalized intersections.
  14. 14. This “Wide Notes/Narrow Road” four-lane concept is promoted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  15. 15. PEER again: future traffic volume north of Venice Ave allows keeping it four lanes, with modern roundabouts at Albee Farms, Sweet Bay, and Bird Bay. Add, that would conserve construction capital if “staged to demand” like the Jacaranda/Venice Ave roundabout.
  16. 16. Members of the Institute of Transportation Engineers reviewed the posted PEER documents. None endorsed widening what they saw as, not a bypass, but a “conflict of use” commercial corridor experiencing friction from entering and exiting businesses, to and from neighborhood streets and feeder roads mixing with through traffic. It’s about intersection management.
  17. 17. “Conflict of Use” friction up and down the 2.5 mile Bypass corridor.
  18. 18. But Wait, the FDOT spent money on a six lane design. Will reconfiguring to four lanes multimodal waste that money? What’s the greater waste? Committing millions to what won’t work and cost the public dearly and daily in wasted fuel, wasted time, air pollution, and accident risk, year in and year out through 2035.
  19. 19. First priority.: Safety. Safety first. Widening the Bypass will cause injury to someone who otherwise would not be hurt. Consider, for safety’s sake, keeping the By Pass four-lanes, assuring the millions you are committing will deliver today’s best intersection management and mobility.... for this Venice area and all of fhe US41 “Multimodal Emphasis Corridor” from North Port to Palmetto.