The roundabout at Jacaranda Boulevard and Venice Avenue

Image: Rob Jones

The roundabout at Jacaranda Boulevard and Venice Avenue has been the most controversial of the county’s 12 traffic circles, even being described as a “circle of death,” by a woman addressing a Sarasota Tiger Bay panel earlier this year. It’s true that the Venice roundabout, which opened in 2011, had the highest crash rate of any signalized intersection or roundabout in 2016 in unincorporated Sarasota County, according to traffic engineering and operations manager Robert Fakhri. However, there have been no fatalities. 

Still, the intersection needed a fix, so in 2017, at the request of Sarasota County, the Florida Department of Transformation spent $1 million to redesign the circle and make it easier for cars to enter and to improve signage and road markings. The project was completed July 1, 2017, and the number of crashes has dropped from 74 in 2016 to 50 in 2017 to 21 from January to May 2018. 

Still, the roundabout complaints will likely continue. Venice Regional Hospital received approval in July to build a 210-bed replacement hospital at the intersection as did a hotly debated car dealership, which will increase traffic flow.

Venice Jacaranda Roundabout Crashes

(Jan.-May)

2011 · 32

2012 · 61

2013 · 58

2014 · 62

2015 · 69

2016 · 74

2017 · 50

2018 · 21

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