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Date of Issue: November 29, 2007

Anna Maria pier improvements contemplated

Members of Anna Maria’s transportation enhancement grant committee spent several hours Nov. 19 inspecting the city pier and its parking lot to consider potential improvement projects.

Such work might be included in the committee’s master plan for improving the Pine Avenue-Gulf Drive business district.

City Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick, who chairs the TEG committee, said the group would consider providing a better location for the trolley stop and redesigning the north-side picnic pavilion in the parking lot.

Other suggestions include screening a Dumpster with shrubs and trees, planting trees along split-rail fences, relocating bicycle racks, moving an historic information sign to a more prominent location and designing a new sign commemorating the pier’s centennial.

Mattick said another idea on the list is to redesign the north parking lot to increase the number of parking spaces and improve the traffic flow. The city’s plan, if adopted, would be done in conjunction with Manatee County Area Transit and the Florida Department of Transportation.

“The list is not prioritized,” Mattick said. “It’s just a list of suggestions in no particular order. When we get everything on paper, then we’ll begin to discuss each idea in detail with the DOT and prioritize the suggestions.”

The committee was formed to identify and prioritize plans and locations for “streetscaping” improvements in the Pine Avenue-Gulf Drive business district. The city has been awarded a $358,000 transportation enhancement grant that will be funded in the 2010-11 DOT budget.

Mattick said the next TEG meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at city hall. The committee will discuss how the city’s upcoming drainage project might affect the Pine Avenue side of city hall.