There have been a lot of problems with heavy traffic in Sarasota recently, which led to changes in the way a specific intersection was managed with lane directions. However, that solution has led to an increase in accidents, and now city leaders are trying to determine how best to solve both problems.
The original issue was that traffic coming off the Ringling Causeway Bridge can sometimes last for up to a few hours while drivers travel north on U.S. 41. The intersection of Fruitville Road and U.S. 41 is particularly troublesome and often made the traffic jam worse. As a solution, a lane that once led straight through traffic was changed to be a right turn only lane, and the lane that previously turned left now goes straight through traffic.
The problem is that drivers have not adjusted to the new right-turn only lane and continue to travel straight through traffic. Meanwhile, the lane that now goes straight travels through shifting traffic from two lanes over. The result has been a dangerous set of circumstances that have caused 12 accidents since the lane changes were made on March 11, more than double the amount that occurred in the same time period last year.
The Sarasota Police Department says that the changes made to the street were a good idea in theory, but the execution has been botched and has caused some real dangers to divers in the area. For example, there is no sign indicating that the new right turn lane is only for turning right, meaning that the city has not done much to help people transition to the new traffic pattern.
The Florida Department of Transportation says that there will be more signage coming to the area eventually, but encourages drivers to be cautions until that time.
However, when accidents are caused by poor street design and lack of signage, local and state municipalities could be liable for any injuries that occur. If you believe your car accident was the result of one of these issues, speak with a skilled Bradenton injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.