Letters to the Editor

Improve Manatee County streets, traffic flow with half-cent sales tax hike

Traffic slowly crosses the Green Bridge into Bradenton giving motorist plenty of time to take in the surrounding sights from the Florida Scenic Highway. Florida Department of Transportation is having a visioning workshop for the Central Manatee Network Alternatives Analysis on Thursday. 
 GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald File Photograph
Traffic slowly crosses the Green Bridge into Bradenton giving motorist plenty of time to take in the surrounding sights from the Florida Scenic Highway. Florida Department of Transportation is having a visioning workshop for the Central Manatee Network Alternatives Analysis on Thursday. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald File Photograph gjefferies@bradenton.com

I would agree that a half percent sales tax increase is a better alternative than the other five proposals because all residents and visitors share the cost for improved infrastructure. The other proposals either pick the pockets of home owners or businesses, leaving less income for home owners to spend at local businesses, who will raise retail prices to offset any new taxes.

The more important issue is how will the county use the newly found money to improve infrastructure and quality of life for the majority of full-time residents, local businesses and visitors?

The Sunday Herald Editorial's last section titled "Path toward the future" is the naive notion that money should be used first to build a cross country bike trail. There are few people who would use this trail as a commute alterative; the majority will still need to commute by car.

A much better use of the money would be to build a third bridge at 27th Street East as suggested in a Saturday editorial.

Return westbound Manatee Avenue to the way it was prior to the 2012 "improvements" by eliminating parking on the north side and moving the bike lane curbside. Leave 10th Street and 14th Street two ways, make Old Main from 3rd Avenue to eastbound Manatee Avenue and 13th Street one way heading south out of downtown; block off 15th Street completely at Manatee Avenue, eliminating one traffic light and install Smart Traffic Lights at the remaining downtown intersections.

Last, straighten Manatee Avenue East using the city-owned land just past the Wares Creek Bridge. The current traffic situation is a danger to public safety as well as a general inconvenience to residents, visitors and local businesses. Improving traffic flow south of the two bridges trumps any bike trail.

Russell D. Sens

Bradenton

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