Friday, May 26, 2017

Segment #3 and video: “Getting from Point A to Point B”: Panel discussion titled, “Why our world will never be perfect”.

Check back tomorrow for more information from the Public Discussions held on May 22nd. Use this link for the blog post from yesterday, Segment #2, “President Donald Trump, tourism and Trains, Planes, and Automobiles!”.
This forum was hosted by Town of Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio, West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio, and Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard.

This was the third panel held at the West Palm Beach Convention Center on Monday, May 22nd. In the video below we have Nick Uhren, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Clinton Forbes, Executive Director of Palm Tran, and then John Renne, PhD, Director for the Center of Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University.

Mr. Uhren begins by introducing the purpose and the function of the Palm Beach MPO which is integrating the transportation and mobility desires of local governments in the planning and allocating of funds to transportation projects. He talks about his organization’s current focus on the US-1 Corridor Mobility Study which is attempting to integrate all users of that network with a “pedestrian/bicycle first approach”. This is opposed to the traditional notion that highways should be designed for automobiles first and is otherwise known as the Complete Streets approach to transportation. He also discusses how this approach could be used for the Okeechobee Boulevard corridor which was the main focus of the session.

We also heard from Clinton Forbes with Palm Tran, the Palm Beach County mass transit provider. He sees Palm Tran’s job to provide access to opportunity in a safe and courteous manner. Key among the agency’s priorities are reliability, which he indicates is something that they are working to improve in terms of wait times, comfort, including access to WiFi and other technologies that will make the system easier and more comfortable for riders to use.

Dr. Renne from FAU talked about the important balance between providing jobs within a downtown area and relationship to the number of residents in the downtown. He drew on examples of successful urban areas that generally maintain a healthy balance between those that live and work downtown in those overall numbers — it should be noted that he initially underestimated the number of jobs in downtown West Palm Beach — the actual number is closer to 24,000 jobs, which he was able to correct later during the Q&A session at the conclusion of the this event.

Thank You for visiting today and check back tomorrow for segment #4.