MANATEE -- Frustrated members of the regional transportation agency board Monday questioned why signs cannot be put up along Interstate 75 directing drivers to the new University Town Center mall and nearby Nathan Benderson Park rowing center.
Manatee County Commissioner Betsy Benac said she had attended a "warm-up" to the 2017 World Rowing Championship slated for the park, and found participants who had come here from 10 different countries, were "very much concerned" about finding their way around.
"People were constantly asking me how to get around," Benac told the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization. "Obviously, not having a sign on I-75 is a problem."
Roxann Lake of the Florida Department of Transportation said state policy allows only so many signs per highway exit, and only so many lines per sign, so motorists passing at high rates of speed can read them.
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Signs at University Parkway and I-75 list such destinations as the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee; New College of Florida and even a nearby dog track, but not the new mall, which opened Oct. 16,
or the park, which already attracts thousands of people to events each year.
Sarasota County Commissioner Christine Robinson said the state helped finance the park's new rowing center, and common sense would suggest a sign would be appropriate.
"These things are not passing the common-sense test," she said.
Robinson asked how to fix the situation, and Lake offered to research it and report back.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.