By Roger Drouin
Michael Shay called the meeting to order and the August minutes were approved.
Lt. Kasper noted the sheriff’s office would not renew the lease for the Siesta Key substation when it expires Sept. 30. A temporary substation has been set up in a trailer in the Siesta Beach parking lot, and a new sheriff’s substation will be included in the remodeled concession stand that will house lifeguards and sheriff’s office. Deputies will have a good view, the lieutenant noted, of the beach and the parking lot.
Code Enforcement Officer Susan Stahley and Michael Shay have worked in the past on the issue of illegal rentals. On some occasions, once the situation is addressed and the property owner contacted, the situation is resolved, Stahley noted.
Stahley told members that she can adjust her schedule and come out after 5 p.m. if a code issue needs to be observed during the evening or outside normal business hours.
L.K. Nandam, District Traffic Operations Engineer, along with Michael Kautz, Highway Safety Manager, discussed the proposed changes to the intersection of Stickney Point Road and Midnight Pass Road. The state agency is proposing to change the intersection to improve pedestrian safety and operations.
After hearing several complaints last week when at the Sept. 1 SKVA meeting where the FDOT first presented a proposal for changes at the intersection, Nandam and Kautz highlighted a revised option during the meeting of the SKA.
The revised plan is designed to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, while accommodating vehicle mobility, Nandam said.
FDOT originally proposed removing the acceleration lane for vehicles turning right from Stickney Point Road onto Midnight Pass Road and realigning the crosswalk on Stickney Point Road to make pedestrians more visible to drivers.
The revised proposal, however, would maintain the acceleration lane. It would tighten the radius of the turn lane, effectively encouraging drivers to take the turn more slowly. The turn lane would also incorporate a raised concrete separator to the left of the right-hand turn lane where striping is in place.
In addition, the revised plan calls for the crosswalk on Stickney Point Road to be connected to the crosswalk on South Midnight Pass Road. This option will maintain the vehicle-handling capacity of the intersection, Nandam said, but it also will provide more safety for people on foot or on bicycles.
The bike lane on Stickney Point Road that now ends abruptly will also be extended.
The proposed changes are part of an FDOT effort to minimize pedestrian accidents at the intersection. There have been two recent accidents involving pedestrians recently, Nandam said.
The current design of the intersection is a “classic example of how not to design for pedestrians,” Nandam said.
Big Pass Dredge Project
Catherine Luckner reported that, at the time, the Army Corp’s response to the Department of Environmental Protection’s request for more information about the proposal to dredge Big Pass and renourish Lido Beach was expected soon. Note: the ACOE's response came in followng the September meeting.
Luckner reminded attendees that the City of Sarasota is the entity that has requested the permit, and is working with the Army Corps on the project. Luckner said she believes alternatives can be considered before critics of the project have to resort to a lawsuit. “We have time to work it,” Luckner said. “Everyone is doing their part.”
Members also discussed the reoccurring problem of trash on the beach.
They discussed the possibility of trash bags dispensers so beachgoers can use the bags to bring out their trash. Shay mentioned the ongoing cost of replacing bags and the possibility of working with a corporate sponsor to defray those costs.
NEXT MEETING OF THE SKA ASSOCIATION TAKES PLACE OCT. 1