News Columns & Blogs

It’s the intersection that has it all

Thursday morning, there were two accidents within minutes of one another a few blocks apart on Manatee Avenue. One occurred near Manatee Memorial Hospital, and the other right in front of the Bradenton Herald. In other words, one accident occurred just east of U.S. 301 and the other just west of it.

That intersection has been on my mind because I’ve sat there several times, waiting to make a left turn onto westbound Manatee Avenue from U.S. 301 and watched the traffic signal go through three cycles before allowing drivers in the turn lane to move an inch.

That’s not a good thing, considering that there is a red-light camera sitting there.

I support red-light cameras, and I don’t have a problem with the first one in Manatee being installed there. Except, the traffic signal should operate in a near flawless manner.

I have observed some frustrated drivers make that left turn onto Manatee Avenue after being passed over repeatedly for a green turn signal. Not a smart move.

Later in the day, I walked over to Starbucks for coffee and to talk over story coverage with a reader. There are lots of lanes at the intersection, and lots of vehicles. Even when the friendly pedestrian walk sign invited me to cross, I did so cautiously.

As I stepped onto Starbucks property, I saw the lawyer billboard overhead that asks, “Hurt in an accident?”

It really is the intersection with everything.

A hospital to treat the injured. A pawn shop for someone needing a quick jolt of cash. A newspaper to cover the crashes. And a school board office for anyone needing a little education.

* * *

Some good news notes:

n Congratulations to Rose Riggle, event chair, and all the volunteers who took part in the Relay for Life of Myakka City. Myakka raised $52,468 for the fight against cancer, exceeding its goal.

n Bayside Community Church, which has been meeting in rented space since 2002, moved into its new sanctuary at 15800 S.R. 64 E. this weekend. Members are doing some serious multi-tasking, also setting out 60,000 eggs for kids to hunt and launching a home makeover for a deserving family.

n Dakin Dairy observed its first anniversary in March with the bottling of its own farm-fresh milk. Sweetbay Supermarkets in Bradenton are selling the milk, and have expanded the market to include Venice and Punta Gorda.

Local restaurants have learned about Dakin’s heavy cream and the dairy is struggling to keep up with the demand.