Find solution to gridlock in downtown Bradenton

May 4, 2014 

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Southbound traffic backs up across the Green Bridge approaching Third Avenue West in Bradenton in this 2011 file photograph. State transportation planners are proposing road improvements to relieve congestion on the bridge leading into Bradenton. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald

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It was like deja vu when reading the article on the ideas that state transportation people want to do with the traffic coming into downtown Bradenton.

How many times over the last 30 years has there been discussions to try to ease the traffic in downtown? Especially the traffic off the bridges?

Due to the incredibly poor planning, we are all just plain stuck with two bridges to get into downtown.

A few years ago, someone decided that it would be a great idea to make Manatee Avenue two lanes through downtown instead of keeping it three lanes.

Traffic was already bad with three lanes, now it is even worse! But, yes, it sure is pretty.

Now, the talk is making two right-turn lanes off the Green Bridge? What exactly would be the point?

Less than 75 feet after you turn right there is a light. How many cars can be packed into that small space?

How about putting Manatee Avenue back to three lanes and maybe traffic will move a bit faster. Or if there is going to be a dedicated lane for right turns, have all the lights on Manatee Avenue be green all the way through downtown. Or maybe, just synchronizing the lights better to make traffic flow easier.

For example, 6-9 a.m., traffic flowing south and west, the lights should be green for longer periods of time, at the same time. Then, allow the east-west traffic flow for a while.

Lights could be changed for the afternoon traffic times 4-6 p.m.

I realize that medians along Ninth Street West need to be changed to allow for more cars to be able to head west, but a similar kind of traffic flow works in big cities. Isn't time Bradenton tried it, too.

It would be really great to see an idea come up that actually works.

Katja Hennessey

Bradenton

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