Saturday May 13 and continuing for three additional days last week walkers, bicyclists and auto drivers in Boca Raton met with the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization to share their concerns and offer suggestions on how best to improve US-1, a.k.a. Federal Highway. Those of us attending found it interesting to meet with professional roadway design consultants and watch as they took citizen’s input along with their professional knowledge to produce tissue overlays showing improvements at congested intersections, other roadway improvements and the addition of shade trees. Wednesday May 17 at 4pm, they gave a Final Working Presentation of Boca’s Study. Some of the issues discussed were: needed shade trees, wider sidewalks, better marked bicycle lanes, better marked & safer pedestrian crossings, better street night lights and additional bus service.

Boca Raton was the first municipality to participate in the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization/US-1 Multimodal Corridor Study. Five more studies will be held in Palm Beach County cities and ends at Indiantown in Jupiter.  The objectives of the Study are to develop a clear vision of the transportation role of the US-1 corridor with respect to mobility and to formulate a multimodal transportation plan that incorporates highway, transit, pedestrian and bicycle travel modes and complements development patterns. There is also a Health Impact Assessment decision making process to make choices that improve health through community design.

The Study will conclude in the Spring of 2018 with an outreach event to grow public awareness of the potential value of the corridor for healthy community development.

For additional information on this Study contact: US1PBCorridorStudy@US1PBCorridorStudy

Open comment from Councilman Robert Weinroth, Boca’s representative on the Palm Beach MPO:

Several months ago the Sunday edition of the Sun Sentinel carried a front page headline screaming, “We’re Going to Make Them Suffer.” What an injustice to the majority of our elected officials and traffic engineers working to alleviate congestion on our roads.

Buried deep in the article it was noted that 1% of the major roads in Palm Beach County are rated F. However, when you realize Palm Beach County accommodates 7 million tourists a year (in addition to 1.5 million residents) it is clear Palm Beach County is not content to torture its residents to change driving habits.

Is there congestion? Of course there is. To that end, the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization (PBMPO), Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) and Pam Tran are collaborating with state, county and municipal officials to update our regional transportation system to accommodate our residents and visitors by planning for the allocation of available federal, state and county funding.

As a member of the PBMPO, TCRPC and the Palm Tran Service Board, I am able to represent residents of our city to ensure our needs are being addressed.

As reported by Ms. Landon, a project is currently underway to “re-envision” the US-1 corridor. An in-depth multimodal study with the TCRPC, PBMPO and Palm Tran holding a series of community meetings started, last week, in Boca Raton and will ultimately conclude in
Jupiter.

The 42 mile FDOT roadway stretches through 14 municipalities and is an important component to their economic vitality with over 156,000
residents relying upon US-1 to travel to work.

Two goals of the current study are to:

  1. Establish a vision for US-1 as a multimodal corridor; and
  2. Determine how we can implement enhanced transit with continuous bicycle and pedestrian friendly facilities.

Even with I-95 and the Florida Turnpike, US-1 is a vital connector serving downtown areas in the eastern core of Palm Beach County, distributing people to businesses, neighborhoods and important community.

The current period of research and public input will require the study team to hold five additional community meetings, ending in October with the final meeting to solicit public input in north county (Juno Beach, Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens). This will be followed in the fourth quarter by a period of public outreach (charrettes and stakeholder interviews).

A final report will be prepared early next year with another round of public outreach to present the final recommendations in the spring of 2018.

This is an exciting opportunity to envision the future of travel in our region. Mobility through non-automobile travel promises to be an important ingredient of the plan.

Robert Weinroth | Council Member
City of Boca Raton
201 W. Palmetto Park Rd . Boca Raton, FL 33432
P 561-393-7708 | RWeinroth@MyBoca.us
C 561-451-6331 (voice only)
F 561-367-7014