Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway Corridor Management Plan


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part of a 150-mile trail system, The Gulf Coast Heritage 
Trail.  The trail system links 117 ecological and cultural 
sites located in over a dozen local communities in 
Manatee and Sarasota Counties.  The purpose of the 
Heritage Trail is to promote environmental, cultural, and 
historical awareness of the Sarasota Bay, as well as, 
preserve community heritage elements and improve 
physical and visual conditions of the bay.   
Beachgoers enjoying Coquina Beach  
Educational Sign at Coquina BayWalk  
Gulf Coast Heritage Trail Directional  

Opportunities & Constraints 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 26 
Summary 
The resources along the Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway are protected through numerous agencies 
including the City of Bradenton Beach, Manatee County, Sarasota/Manatee County Metropolitan 
Planning Organization, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Florida Department 
of Community Affairs and the National Park Service.  There are opportunities to increase the 
protection of resources through the adoption of portions of the Corridor Management Plan into 
appropriate City, County and MPO planning documents and Capital Improvement Programs.  In 
addition, the Corridor Management Entity, established in this plan, will serve as the liaison between 
local government agencies, local businesses and the general public in developing partnerships to 
implement the CMP and further protect the corridor’s resources.  The Corridor Management Entity 
will also be responsible for tracking all current and future projects that could potentially impact the 
corridor. 
 
Historic Bridge Street Pier  

Corridor Vision 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 27 
 
The Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway is a 
beautifully greenscaped, pedestrian friendly, 
waterfront highway corridor where residents 
and visitors can safely walk and bike.  The 
outstanding beaches, picnic areas, boat 
ramps, parking and scenic vistas along the 
highway provide pleasant places for residents 
and visitors to interact with the natural 
environment and the island community.  The 
Bradenton Beach area provides unique family 
oriented restaurants and locally owned 
lodging.  The island community located along 
the Scenic Corridor provides both 
environmental and historic educational 
opportunities that have maintained the “Old 
Florida” ambiance of both the architectural 
and natural flavor.  The carefully planned 
Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway was 
developed and constructed through the 
cooperative and creative efforts of the 
community corridor advocacy group, public 
agencies, and private partnerships. 

Goals, Objectives & Strategies 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 28
 
 
G
OALS
, O
BJECTIVES 
& S
TRATEGIES
 
 
To fulfill the mission of the Florida Scenic Highway Program and ensure the success of the 
Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway, the following goals, objectives and strategies were developed to 
protect and enhance the resources along the corridor.  The Corridor Advocacy Group led the 
development of the goals, objectives and strategies based on input collected from the city 
commission, public workshop, survey and informal meetings. 
 
Goal 1 – Bradenton Beach will be aesthetically enhanced and more pedestrian 
friendly. 
 
Objective 1-1: Evaluate and enhance pedestrian facilities along the corridor. 
 
Strategies: 
•  Sidewalks should be constructed on Gulf Drive.   
•  Rehabilitate existing sidewalks. 
•  Construct contiguous bicycle lanes along the entire corridor. 
•  Evaluate the need for additional crosswalks on Cortez and 9
th
 Streets North at Gulf Drive Café. 
•  Pursue funding sources for pedestrian improvements, including federal and state grants. 
 
Objective 1-2: Evaluate current traffic flow and patterns for potential improvements 
to improve pedestrian safety.   
 
Strategies: 
•  Develop traffic calming devices along Gulf Drive where the road curves to the south. 
•  Enforce the posted road speed limit. 
•  Reevaluate the signal and yield signs around the Bridge Street roundabout for current 
effectiveness and needed improvements. 
•  Improve traffic flow through the parking areas of Coquina Beach. 
 
Objective 1-3: Develop landscape and streetscape treatments that enhance the 
character of the corridor and define pedestrian spaces. 
 
Strategies: 
•  Develop a landscaping plan for the entire corridor that incorporates native, drought and salt-
tolerant vegetation. 
•  Include ropes and bollards as part of the streetscaping plan to define pedestrian spaces and 
maintain the character of the corridor. 
•  Partner with local businesses to implement the landscaping plan, including requiring commercial 
entities adjacent to the corridor to develop landscaping as part of the regulatory code. 
•  Pursue funding sources for landscaping and streetscape improvements, including federal and 
state grants. 

Goals, Objectives & Strategies 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 29
 
 
•  Initiate a drainage improvements study to identify needed improvements. 
 
Objective 1-4: Provide guidelines for the design of new and redeveloped properties 
along the roadway to provide more public amenities and improve aesthetic 
appearance. 
 
Strategies: 
•  Evaluate the consolidation and reduction of existing informational and directional signage along 
the corridor. 
•  Develop beach access facilities at the street ends including additional parking, benches, trash 
receptacles, newspaper bins, block numbers and other amenities. 
•  Identify appropriate locations and design of benches, bus stops, lifeguard stations, newspaper 
stands and dumpsters to improve and enhance the aesthetic character of the corridor. 
•  Improve the Coquina Beach parking area to reduce dust. 
•  Redesign and/or reconfigure the restrooms/picnic areas, at Coquina Beach, to improve access 
and appearance, add barbecue facilities, and comply with ADA regulations 
•  Develop design standards for new and redeveloped properties that can be incorporated into the 
development review process. 
 
Goal 2 – The natural, cultural and historic resources along the Bradenton Beach 
Scenic Highway will be preserved and enhanced. 
 
Objective 2-1: Protect and restore the native vegetation, wildlife habitat and water 
quality of the natural areas along the corridor. 
 
Strategies: 
•  Reinforce the groins for beach preservation, fishing recreation and safety. 
•  Implement and monitor the Manatee County beach renourishment plan. 
•  Continue dune restoration, including native vegetation plantings. 
•  Assist with development of a plan to remove exotics and replant with native vegetation along the 
entire corridor. 
•  Coordinate with the National Estuary Program to assist with efforts to preserve and enhance 
Sarasota Bay. 
•  Educate homeowners and visitors regarding their role in minimizing indirect sources of pollution 
to Sarasota Bay. 
•  Develop a brochure for Bradenton Beach that highlights and interprets the natural resources of 
the area. 
•  Pursue grant opportunities and partnerships for natural resource preservation and restoration. 
 
 
 
 

Goals, Objectives & Strategies 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 30
 
 
Objective 2-2: Protect and restore the historic features that help tell the story of the 
City of Bradenton Beach. 
 
Strategies: 
Protect the character and pedestrian atmosphere along Bridge Street by promoting compatible uses 
in new development and future redevelopment. 
•  Continue to preserve the Bridge Street Pier for public access and recreation. 
•  Protect historic structures and structures of significance that help preserve the “Old Florida” 
character of the City. 
•  Develop new buildings in a similar architectural style. 
•  Develop a brochure for Bradenton Beach that tells the historic “story” of the scenic corridor. 
•  Pursue grant opportunities and partnerships for historic resource preservation and interpretation. 
 
Objective 2-3: Promote cultural activities for residents and tourists along the 
corridor. 
 
Strategies: 
•  Develop an open-air performing arts pavilion along Coquina Beach to house traveling and 
resident artists. 
•  Coordinate with local schools and performing groups to provide cultural activities for the 
community. 
•  Promote special events that highlight the resources of the corridor. 
•  Pursue grant opportunities and partnerships for enhancing cultural resource opportunities. 
 
Objective 2-4: Provide a diversity of recreation opportunities for residents and 
visitors along the corridor. 
 
Strategies: 
•  Preserve public access to the beaches through public ownership of land.   
•  Initiate a parking study to provide better access to the public beaches. 
•  Redevelop the street ends to provide additional amenities for beach access including organized 
parking, shelters, swings/benches, trash receptacles, newspaper bins, etc. 
•  Redesign and develop additional lifeguard stations to serve as wayfinding icons and public beach 
amenities. 
•  Improve the picnic and playground areas along Coquina Beach. 
•  Develop sidewalks, bike lanes/paths and crosswalks to promote pedestrian activities along the 
corridor for both safety and recreation. 
•  Develop additional bike paths through the community to connect public facilities and enhance 
recreation opportunities. 
•  Reinforce the groins for beach preservation, fishing recreation and safety. 
•  Develop a brochure that highlights the recreation and cultural opportunities along the corridor. 
 

Goals, Objectives & Strategies 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 31
 
 
Goal 3 – Educate visitors and residents regarding the unique resources of the 
corridor. 
 
Objective 3-1 – Literature and other educational programs and facilities will be 
provided to visitors and residents that explain the unique natural and historical 
elements of the surrounding landscape. 
 
Strategies: 
•  Develop an environmental education center, with interactive exhibits, meeting space and a 
resource center to promote the resources along the corridor and in the region. 
•  Install educational kiosks that provide information on issues such as: the Sarasota Bay National 
Estuary Program, coastal dune ecosystems, native versus exotic vegetation, water quality 
protection, coastal wildlife, protection of turtle nesting areas and other endangered species, and 
the history of the island area. 
•  Develop a brochure that highlights the unique resources of the corridor that can be distributed at 
the kiosks and other public facilities. 
•  Promote special events that highlight the unique resources of the corridor. 
•  Pursue grant opportunities and partnerships for environmental education. 
 
Goal 4 – The programs and improvements related to the Scenic Highway will be 
community driven. 
 
Objective 4-1 - Community residents will be given opportunities to participate in the 
decision making process regarding improvements along the Bradenton Beach Scenic 
Highway. 
 
Strategies: 
•  All Scenic Highway meetings will be open to the public and advertised in the local newspapers. 
•  The Advocacy Group will continue to pursue adding new committee members to the Corridor 
Advocacy Group. 
•  The Advocacy Group will display and discuss any future plans for improvements to the Scenic 
Highway at public meetings to gather public input and respond to local concerns. 
•  A Corridor Management Entity will be developed to serve as the caretaker of the Scenic 
Highway by executing the Action Plan and monitoring implementation of the Corridor 
Management Plan.  These citizens will serve as part of the Corridor Management Entity and all 
activities will be made public. 
 

Goals, Objectives & Strategies 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 32
 
 
Goal 5- A balanced economic development program shall be maintained for the 
corridor. 
 
Objective 5-1: Encourage a mix of land uses to provide employment opportunities and 
stimulate economic activity. 
 
Strategies: 
•  Coordinate with Manatee County’s Economic Development Council to develop strategies for 
economic development. 
•  Coordinate with local business owners and the Chamber of Commerce to discuss promotional 
activities. 
 
Objective 5-2: Improve public access to commercial areas through parking and 
pedestrian facility improvements. 
 
Strategies: 
•  Pursue the development of a trolley system to provide visitors and residents transportation to 
local businesses and other establishments. 
•  Develop sidewalks, bike lanes and crosswalks to promote pedestrian activity along the corridor. 
•  Initiate a parking study to better manage access to commercial and public facilities along the 
corridor.  
•  Redevelop bus stops to assist and promote increasing ridership from outlying areas. 
 
Objective 5-3: Create awareness for the unique commercial resources found along the 
corridor. 
 
Strategies: 
•  Develop a brochure to promote the unique resources of the corridor for visitors. 
•  Initiate special events that highlight the resources of the corridor. 
•  Develop a web site that promotes the corridor. 

Community Participation Program 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 33 
Corridor Advocacy Group Meeting  
C
OMMUNITY 
P
ARTICIPATION 
P
ROGRAM
 
 
Bradenton Beach residents and business owners initiated the 
formation of the Corridor Advocacy Group in an effort to 
preserve the scenic quality of Gulf Drive within the city 
limits.  The CAG submitted the letter of intent to include 
Gulf Drive in the Florida Scenic Highway Program.  To date, 
the primary efforts of the Corridor Advocacy Group have 
been to identify and document the natural, cultural, historic 
and scenic resources unique to this segment of Gulf Drive, 
and develop an overall vision for the scenic highway.  The 
group has elected a Chair and Vice-Chair, obtained eligibility 
from the Florida Department of Transportation, assisted with 
information collection for the Corridor Management Plan 
and conducted a public workshop. 
 
Since the success of the scenic highway program relies on community driven action, the Corridor 
Advocacy Group has taken several steps to encourage partnering, community involvement and 
consensus building.  The CAGs meetings are open to the public and any interested party is invited to 
become a member of the CAG.  A list of all the Corridor Advocacy Group meetings to date is 
included in Appendix CP-A.  To ensure public participation during the process, the Corridor 
Advocacy Group initiated a Community Participation Program. 
 
Program Overview 
 
The intent of the Community Participation Program is to 
ensure the long-term success of the Bradenton Beach Scenic 
Highway initiative, so community support for the projects 
related to the scenic highway designation is paramount.  
Public awareness and public input were critical during the 
planning process.  A workshop, survey, and informal 
interviews were all essential elements to collecting meaningful 
data and information.  The study team developed the Corridor 
Management Plan based on the input received throughout the 
course of this CPP. 
 
Notification and Public Information 
 
The Corridor Advocacy Group created a comprehensive mailing list that was used for contacting the 
community regarding CAG meetings, the public workshop and general updates on the progress of 
the scenic highway planning process.  A newsletter and meeting announcements were sent to 
everyone on the mailing list, which included the following groups: 
 
•  Property owners along Gulf Drive 

Community Participation Program 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 34 
•  Corridor Advocacy Group members 
•  Community and civic organizations 
•  Business associations 
•  Local elected officials 
•  Local media contacts 
•  Florida Department of Transportation officials 
•  Local and regional planning associations 
•  Adjacent municipalities 
 
The mailing list was continually updated throughout the process to include interested individuals 
who attended workshops and/or requested additional information.  The final project mailing list 
included over 177 individuals (Appendix CP-B). 
 
A newsletter was distributed to update the community on the progress of the scenic highway 
designation and provide notification of the public workshop.  Information in the newsletter included 
the following: 
 
•  Public Meeting Announcement 
•  Frequently Asked Questions 
•  Community Participation Interview 
•  Corridor Advocacy Group - Member List 
•  Vision Statement 
 
The Frequently Asked Questions sheet provided information on the scenic highway program and 
how it might affect the City of Bradenton Beach.  Providing this information in the newsletter, prior 
to the first public meeting, allowed potential participants to gain some understanding of the program 
and formulate additional questions that could be discussed during the workshop.  The questions and 
answers provided in the newsletter included the following: 
 
What is the Florida Scenic Highway Program? 
The Florida Scenic Highway Program is a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) sponsored program 
that designates appropriate roadway corridors that represent and promote the State’s unique histories and 
exceptional resources.  The program was developed to preserve, maintain and enhance Florida’s cultural, 
historical, archeological, recreational, natural, and scenic resources.  
 
What are the benefits for the community for designating Gulf Drive as a Florida Scenic Highway? 
Part of the process of designating a scenic highway is to produce a long-range plan for improvements and 
enhancements of the corridor.  It benefits the residents of Bradenton Beach by allowing them to create their 
own vision for future improvements of the corridor in cooperation with inter-governmental agencies involved 
in the area.  The plan does not produce changes; it only creates opportunities for the pursuit of grants and 
partnerships to implement the citizens’ vision for the corridor. 
 
 
 
 

Community Participation Program 
Corridor Management Plan 
Page 35 
Who is developing the Scenic Highway Plan? 
The Bradenton Beach Corridor Advocacy Group (CAG) began actively meeting in December 1999.  It has 
been formed by the Bradenton Beach City Commission to apply for the designation and guide the planning 
process for the scenic highway corridor. 
 
Who is in the Corridor Advocacy Group? 
The group is comprised of any interested resident and business owner of Bradenton Beach.  In addition, 
representatives from the Island Chamber of Commerce, Manatee County Department of Parks & Recreation, 
the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Manatee County Commission are involved.  The Florida 
Department of Transportation Scenic Highway Coordinator and consultants are provided by FDOT to guide 
the process. 
 
How can I have input into the Scenic Highway Designation process? 
The Advocacy Group meetings are open to everyone and opinions and suggestions are encouraged.  In 
addition a questionnaire will be circulated to the residents for their input, workshops will be conducted so that 
everyone can understand the process and can register their visions for the corridor.  Everyone is urged to be 
involved.  Watch the Islander for meeting times or call City Hall. 
 
Will the traffic increase as a result of the scenic highway designation? 
The designation itself could produce interest in those passing along Gulf Drive and may attract other visitors 
as grants and improvements are accomplished.  Traffic may well increase as the county grows.  The planning 
process should anticipate this and incorporate ways to effectively manage any increase along the corridor. 
 
If Gulf Drive through Bradenton Beach is designated as a Florida Scenic Highway, will delivery trucks 
still be allowed to use it? 
Yes.  The designation as a scenic highway does not affect the function of Gulf Drive. 
 
Will sidewalks be built along the roadway if SR 789 becomes a Scenic Highway? 
Sidewalks and bike path development as well as landscaping could be included in the long-range plan. 
 
How will this affect my taxes? 
Bradenton Beach taxes will not be affected by the Scenic Highway designation.  The designation will assist us 
in applying and qualifying for grant funds to accomplish planned improvements.
 
 
Press releases were also developed by the CAG and distributed to the local media.  In addition, a 
local reporter from The Islander was contacted prior to the first public workshop to provide an 
article regarding the designation (Appendix CP-C). 
 

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