Bowing to pressure from concerned citizens that the six roundabouts proposed to be built on Rt. 41 (Tamiami Trail) in Sarasota would serve only to slow down traffic, the city commissioners and mayor, Dick Clapp, have announced that those plans have been scrapped. Instead, construction will soon begin on a new eight-lane limited access expressway--tentatively named 'The Neil Mohamed Husani Memorial Highway'--that will extend the entire length of the city limits, from University Parkway in the north to Bee Ridge Rd. in the south.
Said Commissioner Suzanne Atwell, "Our constituents have spoken and made it abundantly clear that the roundabouts would have been an impediment to getting from point A to point B in a timely fashion. While we still think the roundabouts would have been aesthetically pleasing and have served to give our city's bayfront a signature look, we felt, in the end, we had to be more sensitive to the needs of our citizens, especially those voters who have the financial means to still drive big cars that would have been hard to negotiate around those roundabouts at the speeds at which these important campaign contributors are accustomed to driving, not to mention the construction vehicles and tanker trucks that will soon be using this stretch of roadway when we begin the process of drilling for oil off the white, sandy beaches of our beautiful city."
The new plans, to be unveiled at a hastily-called public advisory meeting to be held during happy hour at the newly-expanded Marina Jack's Bayfront Luxury Resort, call for one multi-level cloverleaf exchange each at the north and south termini of the expressway and only one interchange for access to downtown Sarasota, located directly in front of the new Marina Jack's Bayfront Luxury Resort.
Some detractors have questioned the fact that there will be only one access point to downtown, as well as the reasoning behind having all traffic exiting the expressway to be funneled through the parking lot to the entrance to Marina Jack's Bayfront Luxury Resort before having to make a U-turn to enter the underpass that leads to downtown. Bob Soran, owner of the Marina Jack complex and recipient of numerous sweetheart deals from the city fathers, downplays the concerns. "I have entered into an agreement with the City of Sarasota to sell them the rights to construct the Bob Soran Interchange on property administered by Marina Jack's that had been leased from the city last year. While there are those who may be upset about no interchange at Fruitville Road, it only makes sense to have all traffic destined for Sarasota to have their first view of our hometown to be the beautiful Marina Jack's Bayfront Luxury Resort, instead of Fruitville's crappy view of a chain link fence surrounding an empty lot. Although, if the city ever comes into ownership of that piece of property, I might be interested in a low-cost lease of that particular parcel...... "
"Am I right or am I right??"
Spectacular entrance to Marina Jack's Bayfront Luxury Resort