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Date of Issue: February 06, 2008

Trolley down Bridge Street meets minor road block

Taking the Manatee Trolley down Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach is not quite such an enthusiastic plan.

Signs of “No Buses” have sprouted in front of the Pines Trailer Park, and a petition drive to oppose the extra route down the city’s main street has been proffered.

Michael D. Terrell, risk manager for the Manatee County Attorney Office, has also offered some suggestions regarding the route expansion, expressly that any new drop-off or pickup of passengers be only on the northbound trek of the trolley.

Business owners along Bridge Street had requested the trolley traverse the street on its northbound and southbound routes along the Island. There have also been suggestions that expanded hours be considered by Manatee County Area Transit for the trolley to help solve the parking problem in the Bridge Street area.

Terrell, in a Jan. 29 letter to Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale, said after a visit to the area, benches and obstructions on the street should be removed. He also recommended relocating a sign to facilitate the bus “swing radius,” as well as yield signage for pedestrians.

“At this time,” Terrell wrote, “the trolley will be limited to stopping on Bridge Street only on the northbound run. All parties agreed that the trolley crossing in front of traffic on the southbound run posed an additional hazard.”

Route and schedule changes are eventually subject to city commission ratification. Further discussion by various city committees will take place prior to any formal request to the city, then to MCAT, then the county commission.