Sarasota city officials recently reviewed some tentative plans to install a roundabout at one of the most heavily traveled intersections in the area. That intersection, at Main Street and U.S. Highway 41, is one of the most dangerous in the city because of the sheer volume of vehicles and pedestrians it sees each day.
There are other roundabouts planned along U.S. 41, but the new Main Street roundabout would be the first in the series, acting as a sort of downtown gateway. It would contain two lanes, which is the subject of some heated discussion, as a recent analysis from the Herald-Tribune revealed that two-lane roundabouts have higher crash rates than the single-lane varieties, most likely because of the merging vehicles involved.
The design for the roundabout is still up in the air, but public officials are attempting to figure out a way to efficiently funnel traffic through the area while still making it safe for pedestrians. At the moment, it appears a pedestrian overpass with ramps would be out of the question, but a handicap-accessible pedestrian “underpass” could happen.
A great degree of success
The roundabouts that already exist in the city have successfully slowed down traffic, which has prompted the Florida Department of Transportation to make greater use of them at high-traffic areas like U.S. 41. When properly designed, they can keep traffic moving better than regular intersections and allow pedestrians to cross the road in shorter sections rather than having to cross multiple lanes of a large highway.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, speak with a dedicated personal injury lawyer at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh right away.