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All blog posts related to the Sarasota/Manatee MPO's Strategic Mobility Plan, formerly known as the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan.
Aug
12

MPO Engages Community in Strategic Mobility Plan

MPO Engages Community in Strategic Mobility Plan

The creation of the Strategic Mobility Plan, referenced in this previous post from October 2014, includes a substantial community engagement effort to gather ideas from residents of Sarasota and Manatee Counties on how to improve the region’s transportation system. One of the ways we have been reaching out to the public is by going out into the community and listening to the perspectives of residents in small focus group discussions. We have hosted 21 focus groups throughout the region, from northern Manatee County to southern Sarasota County, and on a variety of topics relating to transportation. See below for the entire list of focus groups. Click here to see the map in more detail.

In order to get the conversation started, focus group attendees responded to a four question survey that included questions similar to those presented on the Strategic Mobility Plan Website. The comments we heard during the focus group discussions centered on a desire for more transportation options such as more frequent transit, safer bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and other modes like water taxis. Participants also recommended developing a holistic vision for the region, studying proposed developments for their long-term impacts on traffic congestion, improving coordination among the many jurisdictions in the region, and improving traffic through technology.

When participants were asked what one transportation project they would fund in the next five years if they had the money to do so, we heard a range of answers from residents such as improving public transit with more frequent service and better amenities (covered bus shelters and bus schedules at bus stops), a fully-integrated multimodal network, walkable cities, roundabouts, an expressway east of I-75, better technology to manage traffic congestion, and making developers pay for all necessary road improvements.

We have documented all of the comments we received during the focus groups, in addition to any other public comments received during the update, and we are currently working on incorporating these ideas and suggestions into the Strategic Mobility Plan.

The focus groups held included:

City of Palmetto - Community Redevelopment Agency

City of Bradenton – Central Community Redevelopment Agency

Manatee County - Lakewood Ranch Business Association

Manatee County – Federation of Homeowner Associations

Manatee County – Parrish Civic Association

Manatee County – Lakewood Ranch District Directors

Manatee County – Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged

Manatee County - Manatee Chamber of Commerce

City of Sarasota - North Sarasota and Newtown

City of Sarasota - City Council of Neighborhood Associations

City of Sarasota - Condominiums on the Bay Association

City of Sarasota - Downtown Condominium Association

Sarasota County - Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce

Sarasota County – Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged

Sarasota County – Englewood Community Redevelopment Agency

Sarasota County – Council of Neighborhood Associations

City of Venice - Chamber of Commerce

City of North Port - Chamber of Commerce

Focus Group for Local and Regional Environmental Interests

Focus Group for Local and Regional Freight Interests

Sarasota/Manatee MPO’s Bicycle Pedestrian Trails Advisory Committee

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Apr
09

Come see us at #iSeeManatee on April 17!

Come see us at #iSeeManatee on April 17!

MPO staff are looking forward to hosting an interactive station at the upcoming charrette #iSeeManatee next Friday, April 17 at Dolphin Aviation (8191 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota FL) from 6pm-9pm.  We will have maps of the regional transportation network, interactive idea sharing related to future mobility in our area, and will be available to answer any questions you might have about our regional transportation needs. Whether your vision for future mobility includes regional bicycle & golf cart trails, expanded transit service, a more pedestrian friendly environment, or super-highways with automated vehicles, we want to hear from you! 

This event is being organized by the Manatee County Neighborhood Services Department and is a great opportunity for students and younger residents in Sarasota and Manatee Counties to come out and share their ideas and vision for the Southwest Manatee area which includes North Tamiami Trail, USF Sarasota-Manatee, Ringling School of Art & Design, New College of Florida, State College of Florida, and the Bayshore & Whitfield neighborhoods in Manatee County. For more information, please view the event flyer here.

Hope to see you there!

By the way, if you are unable to attend on April 17, but you would like to contribute your ideas to the MPO's Strategic Mobility Plan, please register with us at www.strategicmobilityplan.com to share your thoughts on our regional transportation plan for Sarasota & Manatee Counties.

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Feb
13

You are Invited to the Strategic Mobility Plan Open House!

You are Invited to the Strategic Mobility Plan Open House!

What: The Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) invites you to attend a public open house to provide your ideas on how to improve our region's transportation system and tell us about the projects most important to you. 

When: Thursday, March 12, 2015 from 4:30pm-7:30pm

Where: Dan McClure Auditorium, 5900 Airport Auditorium Lane, Sarasota FL 34243

Who: Everyone is welcome to attend!

Background: The MPO is in the process of updating the region's Long Range Transportation Plan, called the Strategic Mobility Plan. This update will comprehensively evaluate our region's transportation needs to help create a more seamless multimodal transportation network. Through this process of extensive public outreach, the MPO will learn your vision of how to best accomodate future travel demand for all modes of travel (vehicles, walking, biking, transit, freight and good movement, and airports).

For more information: please contact Alana Brasier of Renaissance Planning at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the MPO Office at (941) 359-5772.

Visit our website strategicmobilityplan.com to learn more and to start sharing your wisdom now!

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Feb
06

Have you shared your thoughts with us on Mindmixer yet?

Have you shared your thoughts with us on Mindmixer yet?

Back in October, Mike posted about how the MPO is starting the process of updating our Long Range Transportation Plan this year, otherwise known as the Strategic Mobility Plan. Read that blog post here. The MPO updates the Long Range Transportation Plan every 5 years in order to account for geographic shifts in local demographics and changes to location of economic activities in travel patterns, changes to local plans, incorporate updated estimates of revenues available for transportation-related investments/expenditures, opportunities to improve safety and livability, walkability, shifting priorities, and improve the system for vulnerable populations. We are going through this update process right now.

Residents of Sarasota and Manatee counties will have plenty of opportunities throughout 2015 to share their thoughts, comments, and concerns about transportation during the Long Range Plan Update process. Something new we are doing this year, in order to engage an even broader audience in the creation of the plan, is the use of a website on Mindmixer called Strategic Mobility Plan .  Here residents can share ideas, opportunities, and concerns about regional transportation with the MPO, and each other. Some members of the MPO Board, featured on the “Who’s Listening” page, are tuning in to comments and ideas from residents on the site. Of course there will also be more traditional opportunities, such as a public workshop and focus group meetings, for residents to engage in the conversation about transportation in person. Dates for those are coming soon, so stay tuned!

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Oct
28

.....Developing the Sarasota/Manatee MPO’s Strategic Mobility Plan (formerly known as '2040 Long Range Transportation Plan')

.....Developing the Sarasota/Manatee MPO’s Strategic Mobility Plan (formerly known as '2040 Long Range Transportation Plan')

The Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO) Strategic Mobility Plan (SMP) will build on the solid multimodal foundation the MPO laid in prior plans over the last 12 years, including the 2002 Public Transportation System Analysis and the Long Range Plans adopted for 2030 and 2035. With each of those plans, the MPO advanced the discussion and key initiatives to create a more seamless multimodal transportation network in the two counties. Now with the SMP, the MPO is faced with a new federal context emphasizing an outcome-based, performance driven planning process and the need to address the multi-jurisdiction and year-to-year challenges of managing and operating the transportation system. Both require a clearly defined set of expectations, roles and responsibilities of each of the MPO's planning, funding and operating partners.

The keys to the SMP entail a focus on developing 10 and 15 year planning horizons that will help move the MPO toward a desired vision and set of goals. The focus of these 10 and 15 year perspectives makes the direction and decisions more tangible to elected officials and the public. It involves building upon the current Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and targeted economic development/redevelopment areas. This will enable more productive conversations about management and operations to make the most of the regions existing and committed multimodal transportation network.

With new performance-based planning requirements in federal legislation, the SMP must provide a framework to clarify and focus the MPO's project prioritization process in order to address outcomes and targets which must be identified and adopted by the MPO. Furthermore, the SMP needs to facilitate alignment with other plans and actions, and clarify state, regional and local responsibilities to support an overall vision for transportation, economic development/redevelopment and livability. The SMP presents this MPO with an excellent opportunity to refine its processes and focus on achieving important outcomes that will sustain and fulfill the Sarasota/Manatee region's promise.

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