At a Mayor-Commission Work Session on April 30, 2018, the City of West Palm Beach– along with nationally known cities expert and mobility consultant Gabe Klein– presented the results of its mobility study, including the Okeechobee Corridor Study, the Downtown Parking and Transportation Demand Management Study, and the Citywide Bicycle Masterplan. The Mobility Plan establishes a common community vision for how people travel that is built on shared, desired outcomes. To realize the vision, the plan outlines specific short- and long-term actions that will guide the community toward achieving the future City of West Palm Beach. The findings, which are designed to mitigate future congestion and provide safer options for all users, have been finalized and are expected to be adopted by the City Commission in May.
- Okeechobee corridor projects such as intersection improvements, improved lighting, mobility/transit hub, improved signal timing, dedicated rapid bus transit lanes, expansion of trolley routes.
- Added multimodal access including vehicular capacity by providing a Fern Street connection across the SFRTA tracks from Australian Avenue to Flagler Drive.
- Expansion of bicycle network to safely connect neighborhoods and people to jobs, schools, parks, businesses and the downtown.
- Incorporation of transportation demand management strategies as a part of future land use planning in order to mitigate future congestion and encourage alternative modes of transportation such as walking, biking, and trolley riding.
- Restructuring parking strategies to reduce congestion, increase availability and improve overall user experience.
- Incorporation of new technologies (i.e. autonomous rideshare).
- Optimization and expansion of trolley and bus services and routes.
- Adoption and implementation of Vision Zero, a strategy to eliminate traffic fatalities and sever injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.
“The Downtown West Palm Beach Mobility Plan provides the lens through which future transportation projects—including physical infrastructure and transportation services– should be prioritized and implemented,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “We must always prioritize a transportation network that meets and exceeds the needs of those who live, work and visit here. We must continue to evaluate whether projects support anticipated regional and local growth while also promoting business and preserving the quality of life and human dimension of downtown that make it unique, accessible and diverse.”
The development of the mobility plan began in the spring of 2017 with a visioning workshop and charrette, which included a public meeting and stakeholder meetings held over three days and the launch of an interactive online map and project website. During the summer, the project technical steering committee met to provide technical guidance as the ideas for strategies were developed. In the fall, the complete mobility strategy was presented at a public open house. Input received at the meeting was used to refine and finalize the recommended actions to implement the plan.
“This plan represents a comprehensive strategy that– when implemented– will help the city grow while becoming more safe, healthy, resilient, connected, welcoming, and action-oriented,” said Assistant City Administrator Scott Kelly. “I am excited about the projects, policies and programs that have been developed to create a transportation system that is more predictable, reliable and future ready.”
“The Citywide Bicycle Masterplan, Downtown Parking and Transportation Demand Management Study, and the Okeechobee Corridor Study were developed concurrently, with public and stakeholder meetings,” said City Traffic Engineer Uyen Dang. “The input received for these initiatives was incorporated into this planning effort to develop a comprehensive mobility strategy. The opportunities for input are summarized and expanded on in the Community’s Mobility Vision.”
During the input phase, the City engaged the following stakeholders in its ongoing research and discussion: Transportation Planning Organization, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, Palm Beach County, PalmTran, SFRTA, Florida Department of Transportation, Town of Palm Beach, Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, homeowners, condo and neighborhood organizations, and Palm Beach Atlantic University