Monday, April 10, 2017

Wes keeps on “beating a dead horse”: Those one-way streets in our City. Try an experiment: Return a few back to two-way traffic?

First, whilst on the subject of “beating a dead horse”. . .

Does our City need or does the public even want a pool at the Beach any longer? Or is it time to take a fresh look and consider other options? Remember, the reason historically to have a Casino with a pool was to serve tourists and visitors on A1A and Dixie Hwy. when those were the major roadways through our region prior to the construction of I-95. And don’t forget — for a family of 4 in Lake Worth on a tight budget, a few hours at the pool started off at $16 with parking — a cost too high for many.

This is going to become a very big topic of debate in the coming months. So. If it’s decided to construct a new community pool where should it be in our City? At the Beach or somewhere else? Use this link for my thoughts on this topic.

Whap Whap Whap Whaf WHAP!
The image above is from The Inimitable Tom McGow, a former Lake Worth resident and blogger-extraordinaire who called the pool at the Beach a White Elephant” back in 2010.

Now back to “Those one-way streets. . .”

The City’s bond referendum passed overwhelmingly last November to fix the roads and potholes, can we try a little experiment? Try changing a few one-way streets back to two-way like our City was designed in the first place over 100 years ago? Two-way streets it’s thought creates more “eyes on the street”, reduces crime, increases property values, and slows down speeding cars. Just a few benefits.

Here’s an article from the Strong Towns blog written by Rachel Quednau; an excerpt:

     A recent article out of South Bend, IN suggests that the movement toward two-way streets is growing. [emphasis added] South Bend plans to convert many of its downtown streets back into two-ways by the end of 2016.
     As an example from the neighboring state of Kentucky, the article explains how one multilane couplet (two parallel one-way streets that move traffic in opposite directions) was previously a high crime, low-property value area:
     John Gilderbloom, director of the Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods at the University of Louisville, lived on First Street with his wife when he first moved to the city. 
It was awful, he recalled recently. “There were prostitutes, people selling fenced goods, drugs, everything like that. . .” But after the couplet was returned to its two-way origins:
     Steadily, crime fell, property values rose and retail revenues increased, he said. New investment followed, as residents and business owners rushed to take advantage of the improving landscape.
Remember, Lake and Lucerne avenues in the Downtown weren’t always a multilane couplet (one-way each way). That came later when the most important goal for FDOT and traffic engineers was getting cars from point A to point B as quickly as possible, pedestrians and bicyclists an afterthought.

Many streets in Lake Worth could easily be returned to two-way without many changes to the road infrastructure. Of course things like signage will have to change along with driver behavior as well.

Good idea? Or is Wes still “beating a dead horse”?
Important to remember: Lake and Lucerne avenues are controlled by FDOT, not the City. Other FDOT roadways in the City are Lake Worth Rd., Federal Hwy., and of course I-95.

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