Sunday, October 26, 2014

Future of U.S. 1 in Tequesta: repaving or remodeling?

Trend being pushed by Jeff Speck that promotes shrinking of traffic lane widths to 10 feet from 12 feet is catching on in other communities. He was hired to do a walkability study for the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority. Many of his recommendations come from what is called the "complete streets" view of transportation, one that accommodates all modes of travel: pedestrian, bike, car, transit. All of these modes of transit can be accommodated in urban locations, safely, with the narrower lanes. Now the concept is being applied to the U.S. 1 corridor in some places. Don't be surprised to see such a revamp on Dixie Hwy. in Lake Worth eventually. Click title for link.
Skinnier is better, say proponents of a plan to shrink a 2-mile section of U.S. Route 1 to four lanes from six.
Slimming down the main roadway that goes through the 5,800-population village would be safer, improve business for local merchants and entice visitors and to walk and ride bicycles, say supporters of the plan to reduce lanes from County Line Road south to Beach Road. Reducing the speed limit to 35 mph from 45 mph is part of the plan.
“Drivers come whizzing down U.S. 1. They don’t even see us,” said Kevin Sealy, owner of Left Bank Arts, a picture frame shop in the Tequesta Shoppes on U.S. 1.
Smaller lanes also are being considered for Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach. Besides narrowing the eight driving lanes from 12 to 10 feet, the plan calls for reworking crossings, sprucing up landscaping and adding bicycle lanes separated from traffic by an 18-inch barrier.