LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Traffic and traffic noise on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard are worse than ever, and it seems clear: It's only going to get worse.
At least that seemed to be the consensus Thursday among supervisors of Community Development District 1, which serves the Summerfield and Riverwalk villages of Lakewood Ranch.
District Supervisor Alan Roth brought a resident's concern about noise to the meeting, saying speed limit signs are ignored, and traffic of all kinds, including heavy trucks, is growing.
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Lakewood Ranch Boulevard date at least to 2000-01, and "it obviously hasn't gotten any better," Supervisor Gary Berns said.
Putting up berms, walls or landscaping do little to mitigate noise, Berns said.
Traffic will increase even more on the road when the Fort Hamer Bridge is completed in 2017, Roth said. The bridge will open Lakewood Ranch to traffic from the Parrish area.
"The unfortunate thing is that there is very little that we can do to abate the noise. Lakewood Ranch Boulevard has become a speedway. It's really bad," said Chairwoman June Stroup.
"All we can do is ask for more enforcement, and hope it abates when the new interchange (at University Parkway and Interstate 75) is completed," Stroup said.
In other business:
District 2 Supervisor Dick Moran, who has served five years, said he will not seek re-election for his term ending in December. District 2 serves Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club
"This is a great community. Residents are interested in what we are doing. My hope is that some of you will consider running for the board," Moran said.
Supervisors up for election include Stroup and Roth from District 1; Moran; Michael L. Finney and Peter M. Bokach from District 2; Michael J. Griffin and John Freeman from District 4, serving Greenbrook village; David L. Emison, Glenda M. Robertson, and Thomas E. Leavey from District 5, serving Country Club North; and Jane A. Bruyer and E. Wayne Turnblom from District 6, serving Country Club West.
Steve Zielinski, chief financial officer, advised the board Braden River Utilities has served notice it will increase rates charged residents for irrigation water from $1.05 per 1,000 gallons to $1.20 starting Jan. 1.
It will be BRU's fourth rate increase in eight years, Zielinski said, adding he is trying to get an explanation for the latest rate hike.
Anne Ross, town hall executive director, reported a memorial bench for three Lakewood Ranch residents killed on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, has been installed.
The bench is in memory of Donald Mader, 83, who was struck and killed by a motorist while riding his bicycle in 2014, and Brendan Shreve, 17, and Jared Duran, 15, who died when their car hit a tree in the median of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard in 2015.
The bench replaces a makeshift memorial that had been set up in the median of the road. Anyone trying to reach the roadway memorial potentially put their own lives at risk crossing the road.
A proposal to replace street lights on major Lakewood Ranch streets with light-emitting diode lamps is being rebid to clarify the request for proposal, Ross reported. Those bids were originally expected to be discussed by supervisors in March.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter @jajones1.