FDOT approves Holmes Beach speed changes

A bicyclist shares the road Feb. 15 with motorists entering Holmes Beach via Manatee Avenue. Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH — It didn’t take long for the Florida Department of Transportation to respond to Holmes Beach commissioners’ request to return the Holmes Beach speed limit to 35 miles per hour west of the Anna Maria Island Bridge.
Holmes Beach drivers were in an uproar after the FDOT lowered the speed limit across the bridge from 45 to 35 m.p.h. and reduced speed west of the bridge from 35 to 25 m.p.h. without notice.
During a special meeting convened Feb. 16, commissioners unanimously voted to request a reversal of the FDOT decision.
David Gwynn, FDOT Director of Transportation Operations, sent a same-day response Feb. 22 to Holmes Beach Mayor Bob Johnson’s e-mailed request to increase the speed limit west of the bridge to its previous posted limit.
While Gwynn agreed to reverse the change, in his e-mail, he maintained the speed study completed prior to the change and submitted to the city after new signs were posted remains valid. He said another one would not be conducted by the department at this time. The change took effect Feb. 28.
Commissioners also voted 4 to 1, with Commissioner Pat Morton dissenting, to increase the speed limit from 25 to 35 m.p.h. along a stretch of Gulf Drive from 43rd Street to 52nd Street near Anna Maria Elementary School.
The change went into effect Feb. 22.