USA cities are recognizing the marketing value of the City’s identity expressed in roundabout center treatments, as Sarasota’s Five Points accomplished, and, in this slideshow of examples. A sense of place, who we are, context sensitive. These centers avoid being typical could-be-anywhere get-by cheap.
A roundabout center’s vertical element on US41 at each of the key intersection nodes will announce to users Sarasota’s perception of self and better marry the context of the quality surroundings while improving safer mobility.
See how Bend Oregon uses art in its roundabouts:
The new modern roundabouts at Pineapple Ave & Palm Ave on Ringling Blvd in downtown Sarasota is a welcome demo of how multimodal “road dieting” (a four-lane roadway gives up two lanes to bikers, safer walker crossing, and more parking, to improve the area’s quality of life while maintaining smoother, safer traffic flow.
Better yet would be raised roundabout centers like at nearby Five Points in downtown Sarasota, improving both safety and aesthetics. Safer when an entering driver’s field of view is constrained by the raised center to focus attention directly left to yield to vehicles inside the roundabout, without being distracted or confused by what’s happening elsewhere in the roundabout.
By tracking Carmel’s accident counts (Carmel, IN, is the USA city with the most roundabouts … now more than 60 … and with 10+ years of roundabout experience) responded to noticing that roundabouts with raised centers landscaped high enough to constrain entry driver’s view to the left had the fewest accidents. Carmel has been raising the centers of its roundabouts. Today, 70% of Carmel’s more than 60 working roundabouts are raised to constrain the driver field of view.
Landscaped raised centers on Ringling Blvd would marry better with the context of their quality surroundings: Northern Trust and M&I, Church of the Redeemer, the Palm residential high rises, the nearby Five Points roundabout, with downtown close by… while improving safer mobility.
~ rounding off…. Rod Warner http://us41momentum.wordpress.com
Longboat Key and Sarasota have a common interest that today’s travel time through the Bayfront Corridor be protected and even improved in making US 41 a place where all users safely want to be rather than have to be.
> FTE, Miami transportation engineers, found the “Level of Service” at the Gulfstream US 41 intersection would be the same in 2021 regardless whether “no build” or a modern roundabout. That FTE finding is positive to what the City intends. Travel time is the key LBK concern and the FDOT standard is to maintain or improve “Level of Service.”
> The LBK Commission without comment directed the Town Manager to forward the report to the FDOT, the City, and the MPO and asked FTE to continue to monitor the City process.
Modern roundabouts for Sarasota downtown and US 41 form a roundabout “network,” a term now oft used by mobility experts. Cities have come to recognize roundabout “networks” deliver more than first expected to a City (Bend OR and San Diego/Bird Rock CA examples), improving quality of City Life for all residents whether on foot or wheels or living nearby… improving property values/raising the tax base, lowering auto insurance rates, lowering noise/air pollution, on top of lessening accident cost and injury. A network exponentially expands these values.
A Sarasota Downtown network for roundabouts in series: 1) east/west on Ringling Blvd @ Pineapple & Palm to US 41, 2) north/south Pineapple Ave @ Five Points and Ringling Blvd, 3) east/west First Street @ Cocoanut Ave, 4) networking with the series of five roundabouts on US 41 @ 14th, 10th, Fruitville, Gulfstream, Main, and Orange. That’s a mobility network, each roundabout operating in collaboration with its neighbor in contributing to the effectiveness of the next. The outcome is a safer, quicker flow for wheel and foot movement in a new greener sense of place and livability… a place you want to be rather than have to be.