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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Article on the All Walk signals...

New Las Olas signals favor pedestrians
March 13, 2013 | By Michael Turnbell, Sun Sentinel


FORT LAUDERDALE — Signals at two intersections on Las Olas Boulevard have been tweaked for the next 30 days to allow an all-red cycle, when only pedestrians can move.

The changes went into effect for the first time Wednesday at Las Olas and Southeast Eighth and Ninth avenues. It's a busy stretch where the right-of-way between drivers and those strolling the street is sometimes determined by a test of wills.

Bright yellow signs advise drivers that when the lights turn red, vehicles in all directions must stop. It's the first such test in Broward County.

"It seems like a good idea. You should be able to step off the curb when you've got a walk signal without worrying somebody is going to turn into you," said George Ellis, vacationing from Toronto.

If it succeeds, the all-red cycle will become permanent and used at other intersections with a high number of pedestrians. A1A and Las Olas on Fort Lauderdale beach is mentioned as a possibility.

"Las Olas is one of our main destinations, with a high number of pedestrians. We want to give them priority at crosswalks without any conflicts with cars," said Diana Alarcon, Fort Lauderdale's transportation and mobility director.

As part of the new Complete Streets program, roads across the United States are slowly being rebuilt for people who aren't in cars. The Broward County Commission endorsed the program Tuesday.

State law says pedestrians must wait for a "walk" signal at intersections with traffic lights. But they have the right of way in crosswalks where there are no signals, such as the brick crosswalks near the Bank of America building on Las Olas.

Fort Lauderdale recently completed a citizen survey and found that building "more walkable and bikeable streets'' was one of the top requests.

From 2008 to 2011, 180 pedestrians were killed on Broward County roads, the most behind Miami-Dade County.

With the new all-red cycle, cars can't turn right on red, even if the crosswalks are clear, Alarcon said. Signs will go up soon making that clear, she added.

Officials say the new signal pattern allows enough time for a person to cross any two adjacent legs of the intersection in one step, instead of having to walk and cross each leg one-at-a-time.

Drivers can expect some delays at rush hour because of the new cycle. But engineers are monitoring the signals and will adjust them to balance the needs of drivers and pedestrians, said Broward County Traffic Engineering Director Scott Brunner.
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/20...130313_1_pedestrians-signals-brick-crosswalks
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
"Complete Streets" Approved by Broward County Commission


DATE: March 18, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberly Maroe, Public Information Manager
Broward County Board of County Commissioners
PHONE: 954-357-8053
EMAIL: [email protected]


The “Complete Streets” program approved by Broward Commissioners will create streets that are safer for pedestrians and cyclists and more efficient in terms of transportation. The Complete Streets program provides specific community design standards when planning and building roads throughout the County. The overall mission is to plan for streets that are accessible to people and all modes of transportation with a diversity of uses such as street festivals, farmers markets and public gathering places.

The initiative was brought forward by Broward Mayor Kristin Jacobs, a longtime advocate for environmentally sound policies and walkable safe communities. Complete Street guidelines rethink road design and ensure use of the roadway for all users including bicyclists, pedestrians, public transportation vehicles and motorists.

“I am happy to announce that the Broward County Commission voted unanimously in support of a Complete Streets item. The Broward Complete Streets program is designed with the intention of creating a cohesive transportation system that allows residents to conveniently get to their destination. It is my view that this program will create safer streets in Broward that work toward efficiently moving all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities,” said Mayor Jacobs.

The Broward County Commission's approval of the initiative sets in motion the creation of a Complete Streets Team to oversee implementation of the initiative, identify pilot projects and funding sources and reach out to the community for input and interaction. More than 2,000 Broward residents have already participated in a survey, public workshop, presentation or focus group related to the Complete Streets concept. The majority of participants favored more sidewalks, public transportation options near their homes, clearly marked bike lanes, increased destinations within walking or bicycling distance and focus on public safety. The Commission also approved temporarily suspending fees for municipal Complete Streets project applications in order to encourage participation.

The Complete Streets design guidelines underscore the necessity for roadway improvements to reduce automobile accidents, safety enhancements for bicycles and pedestrians, and encourage walking and cycling to promote good health.

In the spirit of Mayor Jacobs’ “Year of the Neighbor,” the Complete Streets initiative is a collaborative effort involving a number of entities such as the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Broward Regional Health Planning Council, Smart Growth Partnership and Urban Health Partnerships, Broward cities, the Florida Department of Transportation, U.S. Housing and Urban Development and a number of others to develop and implement the community design standards that encourage complete streets.
http://webapps.broward.org/newsrelease/AdminDisplayMessages.aspx?intMessageId=4358
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Plan aims at walkability near Broward Boulevard

By Michael Turnbell, Sun Sentinel
7:27 p.m. EDT, June 5, 2013


FORT LAUDERDALE If you want to walk to Broward Boulevard in neighborhoods west of downtown, missing sidewalks mean you may have to walk on lawns or share the street with cars.

The city and state are planning a $4 million remedy by building sidewalks on nearly a dozen streets. Bike lanes also are planned on Southwest 31st Avenue and on Southwest Seventh/Fourth Avenue.

Construction is expected to begin late next year with completion planned in early 2015.

The project "is an important component of the city's goal to promote the increased use and safety of bicycling and walking," said city spokesman Matt Little.

Broward Boulevard is one of the main legs for a future streetcar route planned to run from Nova Southeastern University to downtown and the airport.

The bike lanes will run from Broward Boulevard south to Southwest 34th Street near the airport, and on 31st from Broward to Riverland Road. To accommodate them, travel lanes will be reduced by about a foot.

Streets getting sidewalks include:

• Southwest 30th Avenue from Southwest Second Court to Broward;
• Southwest 28th Terrace from Southwest Fourth Street to Broward;
• Northwest 22nd Avenue from north of Broward to access road;
• Northwest 18th Avenue from Broward to Northwest Second Street;
• Northwest 14th Avenue from Broward to Northwest Fourth Street;
• Southwest 12th Avenue from Waverly Road to Broward Boulevard;
• Northwest/Southwest 11th Ave from Waverly to Northwest Fourth Street;
• Southwest Ninth Ave from Broward to Northwest First Street;
• Southwest Eighth Avenue from Southwest Second Street to Broward;
• Southwest 29th Avenue from Broward to First Street.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fl-broward-boulevard-sidewalks-20130605,0,4910775.story
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
South Florida roads may get more room for cyclists
Protected or buffered bike lanes being added to roads

By Angel Streeter, Sun Sentinel
8:14 a.m. EDT, September 2, 2013


Cyclists appreciate having bike lanes added to local roads and streets, giving them the space they need to ride. Now riders want to feel safer in those lanes.

Increasingly, they're arguing the on-street pavement reserved for bicyclists also should be protected or separated from vehicle traffic. The theory is that protective barriers or buffered lanes would encourage more people to take their bikes on the road.

"People are afraid," said Stuart Krantz, who lives and rides west of Boca Raton. "I'm always looking at bike lanes. There's hardly anyone in them."

In Broward and Palm Beach counties, buffered bike lanes have popped up in several locations. These lanes provide more space between cars and cyclists, typically 2 to 3 feet of stripped pavement.

The concept is spreading.

Broward County has plans to make buffered bike lanes the standard on many of its roads. Bailey Road between State Road 7 and 81st Avenue in Tamarac is among the first in Broward to get the bike lanes separated from traffic.

And the Florida Department of Transportation plans to put in buffered bike lanes on State Road A1A between Oakland Park Boulevard and Flamingo Avenue in Fort Lauderdale as part of its A1A Greenway project. The 4-foot bike lanes will be separated from vehicles lanes with a 2-foot buffer.

The department also is open to putting them in at other locations.

"While FDOT does not have a policy on bike lane buffers, we can potentially accommodate them where there is adequate [space] and where there is a local desire to have a buffer," said Jennifer Barrow, an FDOT Complete Streets coordinator.

In Boynton Beach, a buffered bike lane exists on U.S. 1 between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Hypoluxo Road. In Royal Palm Beach, the county created a wide buffer between the road and a bike lane on the State Road 7 extension (also called Western Parkway) to Persimmon Boulevard. And the Blue Heron Boulevard Bridge has separation between cyclists and cars, a safety enhancement that came in 2006 after two joggers were killed in a hit-and-run on the bridge.

These efforts are part of a nationwide trend to give cyclists a little more freedom and room. Cities such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco have retooled bike lanes to have varying degrees of separation and protection.

Protected bike lanes, also sometimes called cycle tracks, have a barrier rather than a white line to denote it as a separate space for bikes. Concrete barriers, plastic poles and curbs have been used. Cities also have used parking to separate bikes and cars, putting bike lanes on the other side of on-street parking.

"The cyclists feel like they have a space of their own," said Bret Baronak, bike and pedestrian coordinator for the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization, the county's transportation planning agency. "They can move freely without having to deal with traffic."

The concept would work well in dense, urban areas such as downtowns, he said. But a busy corridor like Okeechobee Boulevard also could benefit from buffered or protected bike lanes.

As the idea has spread in the last couple of years, Baronak said he has begun receiving more calls from residents asking for protected bike lanes.

Krantz, a longtime cycling advocate, has urged FDOT to use concrete barriers in place of the white stripes to create protected bike lanes. He rides his bike on busy State Road 7 west of Boca Raton, using the bike lanes. But he's a rare breed. If he sees other bicyclists, they're on the sidewalk.

"Maybe once a month, I will see some one else in a bike lane," Krantz said. "It's scary to be on 441 because of the amount of traffic speeding by you."

Advocates think that fear of riding close to traffic prevents people from riding bikes more often, particularly as a form of transportation. Protected bike lanes or bike lane buffers could encourage more people to leave their cars behind and hop on a bike, advocates say.

So Broward wants to create "optimal bike space" on its roads by having 4- or 5-foot bike lanes with a 3-foot buffer.

To make that happen, some adjustments have to be made such as narrowing vehicle lanes. On Bailey Road, the county narrowed travel lanes to 10 feet and lowered the speed limit to get in the bike lane and buffer.

"I think more people will ride their bikes," said Mark Horowitz, Broward's Complete Streets program manager. "We put them in to provide people a perception of increased safety instead of a regular bike lane. The purpose is to get more people comfortable. Over time, there will be more people on [bike lanes]."
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/br...bike-lanes-20130902,0,3181398.story?track=rss
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Fort Lauderdale beach makeover focuses on foot traffic

By Larry Barszewski, Sun Sentinel
5:36 p.m. EDT, October 1, 2013

FORT LAUDERDALE—
It's more than a beach.

That's the message behind the $70-million-plus transformation of the city's barrier island that should start turning into reality over the next several years.

City leaders are thrilled with people grabbing their spot in the sand but "we've got to get them walking around" too, to boost the economy, said Mayor Jack Seiler.

Under current proposals, visitors will be able to park at garages on either side of the Las Olas Boulevard drawbridge, then step out on wider, newly landscaped sidewalks as they head toward the beach.

If they walk north, they'll be greeted by a new promenade along the Intracoastal, with plenty of green space where they can watch the passing boats.

They could skip the bridge garages for a spot to the south at a new $32 million aquatic center, which will feature a renovated Olympic-sized pool overlooking Seabreeze Boulevard, possibly a new International Swimming Hall of Fame museum, and a new pool and dive well atop the parking garage.

It will likely be separated from the beach by an expanded but low-intensity D.C. Alexander Park, as plans for some type of commercial development on a portion of land next to the park are falling out of favor.

Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard itself is being retooled north and south of Las Olas. Narrower street lanes for the northbound State Road A1A traffic will allow for wider bike lanes. Redesigned sidewalks should mean pedestrians no longer will have to contend with an obstacle course of trees, street signs and sidewalk cafes.

The city is negotiating with two firms, EDSA and Kimley-Horn and Associates, for the final design work on the Las Olas and A1A projects. It has already approved a contract with Recreational Design and Construction to build the aquatic center.

The beach master plan proposals already exceed the $73 million available from the Community Redevelopment Agency tax revenues that will pay for the projects. So commissioners must decide where to cut costs and what takes priority before the projects can be started.

"I would rather from a personal point of view overpay for projects that have a big impact as opposed to getting bang for your buck for things that don't," said John Weaver, who heads the Central Beach Alliance which represents residents, businesses and property owners in the redevelopment area.

Some ideas have already been scaled back. Commissioners say there are less expensive ways to provide an ocean vista to motorists than realigning Las Olas near A1A, and several said the $2.2 million set aside for renovating Almond Avenue could be put to better use adding to the A1A streetscape improvements.

Officials want to expand the Las Olas Marina to attract mega-yachts, but it's too expensive to be included. Also, a lengthy permitting process would push the work beyond 2019, when the CRA is set to expire.

Commissioners aren't sure what to do about Sebastian Street parking at the northern end of the CRA area. Ideas range from no changes to adding a parking garage with ground-level retail shops.

Seiler said he could not see spending $2.2 million to redo the surface lot there, which would only net about 20 additional parking spaces. Commissioner Dean Trantalis and several beach residents want a parking garage.

Trantalis said besides providing more space, the garage could also have green space on its roof that doubles as a park.

"If we're looking to enhance our beach, we need to do it now and not wait five or 10 years after the need is there, because then we're behind the eight-ball," Trantalis said.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/br...each-project-changes-20131001,0,7434297.story
 

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New bike trail on Dixie Highway Fort Lauderdale


Great to see it is a part of a national trail, THE EAST COAST GREENWAY!
http://www.greenway.org/about-the-greenway

I had hoped that the trail would be in the vacant FEC right-of-way allowing for landscaping and rest areas but it is getting done. More of a park setting. Can't seem to find the actual route or many photos. I believe the Hollywood beachwalk is being considered a part of it. Any info?
 

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^^ That part has been completed for a while. It stops by NW 6th Ave. The sections inside FAT Village have not been done yet last I wlaked there for Revel on the Block. Phase I has been completed for over a year now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
City considers changes to Las Olas

By Larry Barszewski, Sun Sentinel
7:11 p.m. EST, November 15, 2013


FORT LAUDERDALE—
Besides being a nightlife and restaurant destination, Las Olas Boulevard is the city's main route to its central beach, a direct path in and out of downtown, a neighborhood street for several near-downtown communities.

And, all too often, a nightmare for drivers and pedestrians.

Consultants hired by the city to look at a problem stretch between Southeast 9th and 17th avenues say the section would benefit from better signalization, fewer lanes and more visible crosswalks. They would also like to see bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

"When you have a wide road, people tend to ride faster," said Demian Miller, with Tindale-Oliver & Associates.

The report, presented at a public forum Wednesday, gives a range of quick to longer-term changes to keep cars moving, but at speeds slow enough to make it safer for pedestrians. The consultants will take the public comments into consideration in preparing their final report for commissioners.

Consultants focused on the eight-block stretch because it is most affected by existing traffic patterns.

Southeast 15th Avenue is the main link between Broward and Las Olas – and it's where consultants said changes could do the most good.

Miller said an easy fix would be to extend the timing of signal lights for 15th Avenue traffic at Las Olas and Broward boulevards. That would allow many more cars to flow through the intersections and greatly reduce backed-up traffic.

Year-old stop signs on 15th Avenue at Southeast Second Street – loved by some neighborhood residents and hated by others – could be removed if the city installed less-intrusive traffic-calming devices and got rid of the on-street parking that blocks the view of drivers trying to cross 15th Avenue.

Colee Hammock resident Bob Cole said the consultants had the right priority.

"The focus needs to be how to get the intersections working better," Cole said. "The key is getting 15th to work."

Still, the idea of eliminating the 15th Avenue stop signs concerned Lisa Kitei, who lives on the avenue.

"If you take away that stop sign, it's really the only thing that keeps it from being NASCAR," Kitei said.

Another consultant suggestion to help the flow of eastbound Las Olas traffic was to make the outside lane right-turn only just before 15th Avenue, which would keep through-drivers from becoming frustrated when the turning traffic backs up.

Consultants also suggested putting Las Olas on a "road diet" west of 15th Avenue, narrowing it to two lanes and using the additional space to provide bike lanes and wider sidewalks. The narrowing would keep the stretch from becoming the speedway it is now, Miller said.

The changes could be cheap and temporary at first, using paint on the roadway to mark the alterations. If successful, raised medians with turn lanes would be installed, Miller said.

He also called for more crosswalks and making them more visible to drivers, with signs and better lighting.

"We really like to see these things lit up and bright, really visible," Miller said.

Commissioners on Tuesday are scheduled to approve money for a lighted crosswalk at Southeast 13th Avenue.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/br...ffic-study-20131115,0,1860411.story?track=rss
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Slower traffic could extend Las Olas Boulevard's village atmosphere

By Larry Barszewski, Sun Sentinel
4:25 p.m. EST, February 11, 2014


FORT LAUDERDALE —

Just east of the Northern Trust Bank at the Himmarshee Canal bridge, Las Olas Boulevard's village feel ends abruptly as drivers heading east step on the gas, turning part of the commercial district into a drive-by zone for motorists and a danger zone for pedestrians.

Commissioners are in favor of reconfiguring a stretch of Las Olas east of the bridge, from Southeast 12th to 15th avenues, where the road widens to four lanes. They hope the change will slow traffic, make it safer for pedestrians and extend the village atmosphere that attracts people to the boulevard farther west.

The plan, which will also need county approvals, would reduce traffic in the section to one lane in each direction, with a center turn lane and bike lanes in both directions.

Mayor Jack Seiler said "there's no question in my mind that the wonderful feel of Las Olas, the Las Olas shopping district" would be extended eastward by the change.

But rather than ripping up the street and putting in expensive medians, the city plans first to just put down paint, restriping the street with the new configuration to see if the changes make a difference.

Robin Merrill, founder of the year-old Las Olas Village Association, said it's a first step toward putting an end to the "Las Olas Speedway" that the stretch has become.

"That's one of our biggest problems, the speed of the traffic," Merrill said. "It's not inviting. It's not welcoming to be on that side of the bridge because of the feel of the traffic."

The first goal would be to relieve traffic congestion at the intersection of Las Olas and 15th Avenue, which is the main crossover for traffic traveling between Broward Boulevard and the beach, by adjusting the signal timing there.

The plan then calls for making the outer, westbound lane on Las Olas for right turns only as it approaches 15th.

The city is also considering removing the stop signs on 15th at Southeast Second Street, which have been causing back-ups in both directions for the Broward to Las Olas traffic. Some on-street parking would have to be eliminated on 15th, to give better sight lines for crossing traffic.

"We have people stop at that traffic [sign] like they live there and they're going to get out and vote. That's how long they stop," said Riviera Isles resident Lesley Grilley.

Consultants estimate the cost for the proposed changes could be in the $200,000 to $400,000 range.

"We can find the money. We should find the money," Commissioner Romney Rogers said. "We have to make the place safe for pedestrians."

It's not clear how quickly changes could be implemented — or if roadblocks will emerge.

"We still have to go through the permitting process with Broward County," City Manager Lee Feldman said.
Slower traffic could extend Las Olas Boulevard's village atmosphere
 

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^^ Totally agree! The village should be extended all the way to 15th Ave.

In other news; 3 more B-cycle Stations are coming to Fort Lauderdale. Here's some info from their website:

"We will be installing new B-stations in a couple weeks! Three (3) new stations!!! Any idea where they are going? One is pictured here. Where do you think it is? Hint - all are in Ft. Lauderdale..."

I know one will be on Las Olas & 2nd; probably the others will be @ the beach. I went to bike ride with the Mayor two weeks ago and heard B-cycle is talking to Related for a station by Henry Sq. Flagler Village does need one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
^^ One of the parks on the beach, thought it was DC, but you are right that there is one now according to their map:bash:

Broward Blvd. upgrade will remove brick pavers

By Michael Turnbell, Sun Sentinel
February 16, 2014


After years of complaints, state officials are making plans to rip out the pink interlocking bricks on Broward Boulevard's major downtown intersections.

It will be part of a 2016 major makeover of the road, from U.S. 1 to just east of Interstate 95. Included in the project is a new, higher bridge over the North Fork of the New River near Northwest 15th Avenue. And four-foot bike lanes will be added in both directions from 18th Avenue to U.S. 1 as the street is repaved and widened.

The brick pavers at U.S. 1, and Third, Andrews and Seventh avenues were built in 2001 at a cost of $745,000. The city spends about $13,500 a year maintaining them.

The idea was to make motorists more aware of pedestrians at the intersections and to beautify downtown. But the pavers quickly became stained with black streaks from tires. In some sections, bricks have gone missing, creating a bumpy ride and hazards for both drivers and pedestrians.

"It is really in terrible condition," said Thomas Hardt, of Fort Lauderdale. "I deliberately slow down in the right lane and swerve to the right if it is safe to avoid the deep manholes and the deep pockets adjacent to the brick pavers."

In their place, the state is working with the city to come up with stamped concrete designs for crosswalks on Broward. The rest of the intersections outside the crosswalks will be asphalt.

Stamped concrete was recently used on Sistrunk Boulevard and provides a much smoother surface for drivers.

The upgrades will be coordinated with construction of a proposed streetcar called the Wave to avoid ripping up the street to install rails after it is repaved. The streetcar route will cross Broward at Brickell Avenue just east of the county bus terminal.

State officials say the existing pavers are too expensive to fix and maintain, and probably didn't make sense for a street like Broward Boulevard with its heavy traffic.

"It's a high volume road," said project manager Sabrina Aubery, of the Florida Department of Transportation.

Meanwhile, the new span planned for the North Fork of the New River will be four feet higher than the existing bridge, which is a barrier to large boats north of Broward.

The existing bridge is actually made up of two spans. The span carrying the eastbound lanes, built in 1949, is considered structurally deficient because the piers and foundations are deteriorated.

To keep traffic moving during construction, officials plan to build a temporary bridge to the north while the existing one is demolished and rebuilt.

Three lanes of traffic will remain open in each direction. A similar approach is being used for the reconstruction of the Sunrise Boulevard bridge over the Middle River in Fort Lauderdale.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/br...ard-pavers-20140216,0,1869663.story?track=rss
 
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