Town hall organized to address East Manatee, Myakka City traffic

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Traffic through East Manatee County and Myakka City is increasing and so are traffic crashes. 

"The biggest concern is the safety for ourselves. For those residents who have children their children who are driving," said Alyssa Gay. 

Growth has brought more traffic onto the small two-lane roads that were built decades ago. 

The result has been an increase in crashes from Lakewood Ranch to Verna Bethany Road. 

Alyssa Gay has documented each one. Last year there were 193 crashes. Nine of them were fatal. 

Alyssa noticed the change in traffic once development started. 

"I know people try to pass school buses in the morning because they are in a hurry in the mornings and afternoons,” she said.

From speeding to tailgating and passing on a double solid lane, there are issues Alyssa says she deals with daily. 

They were also a wake-up call. 

Alyssa organized an East County-Myakka City town hall meeting to discuss the problems. 

"I'd just like for us to be proactive versus trying to clean up messes after we’ve had so many fatal accidents and things out here," she said. 

The Myakka City Fire Department is the first to respond to crashes, but even they get stuck in traffic. 

"When we get an emergency call fire engines pull up to the intersection to get out and they have to wait for the traffic to go through before they can get out and respond to the call," said Chief Daniel Cacchiotti. 

Chief Cacchiotti said they’ve seen a 30 percent increase number amount of calls they’re receiving and they’re mainly due to traffic accidents.

They're talking about high impact high rates of speed crashes.

"What I’m seeing with a lot of these calls it revolves around driver carelessness and everybody seems to be preoccupied with everything other than driving and that troubles me a lot," said Chief Cacchiotti. 

While growth can't be stopped, they hope Tuesday night's meeting will help end the careless actions of drivers passing through. 

"I think it’s a good opportunity to begin some dialogue and start talking about these problems and ways to resolve them," said Chief Cacchiotti. 

The Myakka City town hall meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. at Bethany Baptist Church. That's located at 26604 State Road 64 E, Myakka City.