Traffic issues topped the list of topics discussed between residents of Bayshore Gardens and Manatee County officials at a town hall Thursday night.
The town hall provided updates for Bayshore Gardens residents on ongoing projects and a sounding board for other issues in the community.
The town hall, held at the Bayshore Gardens temporary offices and recreation center, was hosted by Manatee County Commissioner Robin DiSabatino. Representatives from code enforcement, the sheriff’s office and neighborhood services joined DiSabatino as members of the panel.
The biggest issue, DiSabatino said, is continued work to calm the traffic on 26th Street West.
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Several residents spoke about speeding vehicles on 26th Street West and Florida Boulevard and expressed some discontent with the speed table map surveys that have been distributed.
Ogden Clark III, ambassador program coordinator for Manatee County Neighborhood Services, said officials need 67 percent of Bayshore residents to agree on other streets to be added to the speed table map.
“When we get that support, we’ll be able to look at this more seriously. … We can’t get anything done until there’s that buy-in from Bayshore Gardens,” Clark said.
Because 26th Street West is considered a collector road, speed bumps cannot be utilized. But residents said they like the idea of the county speed trailers, which display miles per hour readings, returning to the area as a deterrent to speeding.
Brady McCabe, operations lieutenant for District 2 at the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, assured residents that patrols are being conducted. He pointed out that there have been at least 66 traffic stops in the area.
Several of the topics brought up in Thursday’s town hall were echoed from earlier discussions the commissioner has had with the residents, but DiSabatino said progress is being made.
“We’ve been hearing the same complaints and need to get action. I don’t want any accidents to happen on our watch,” DiSabatino said, but she reminded residents that government is a slow-moving process.
Some of that progress includes sidewalks going in on Georgia Avenue and sidewalks that will be going in on Florida Boulevard soon, according to Clark. The goal is to have the Georgia Avenue project finished by the end of April, The Florida Boulevard project is on hold, he said.
“We’re excited that we’re working on our sidewalks and getting them in place and doing a lot of projects here in Bayshore Gardens,” DiSabatino said. She noted that street lighting is a topic that is “coming up.”
Dan Rawlinson, president of the homeowner’s association, said he was pleased with the turnout.
“We had 21 intelligent people here tonight,” Rawlinson said. “We had a cross section of complaints, and I think (the panel) handled it very well."
Other topics brought up included the dredging of the canal, nuisance abatement, unleashed dogs, traffic backups, how to acquire signs that would indicate “children at play” and weight limits for vehicles traveling through the community.