Sarasota in Florida is preparing for a boost in traffic numbers as the UTC Mall is estimating 100000 visitors during its opening period.
The Mall at University Town Center is reaching completion, with store names having been placed and in excess of one thousand construction workers adding the final touches.
The center is set to open its doors on October 16, when it is expected to attract customers from all over the region. However, this implies more traffic on the roads as well.
Although the chief engineer for the county, James Harriott, has estimated around 100000 visitors, UTC officials are expecting a much higher number during the opening weekend.
According to FDOT figures, the University Parkway currently sees 35000 drivers per day in both directions. The Manatee and Sarasota counties are working together to try and overcome the traffic problems by using cameras.
Harriott stated that signal times will be adjusted to accommodate traffic and limit pedestrian movement. There will be digital signs placed strategically to redirect drivers on the I-75 to alternate routes.
There are SCAT buses running between the mall and the airport and around two dozen deputies will be responsible for the traffic. A trolley system is envisaged for the mall in the future.
There are future plans to ease traffic by reconstruction of the surrounding roads, but that could take years. The answer is to remain patient in traffic.
19 SEPTEMBER 2014, USA
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