Tuesday, May 23, 2017

From yesterday’s forum “West Palm Beach’s Growing Traffic Challenges”. Stay tuned. A change of plans.


Please Note: Below are links to two videos to watch and share. More videos to come.

My original plan was to write a detailed post about what happened yesterday at the forum, “Getting from Point A to Point B”, a public discussion held at the Convention Center in West Palm Beach. But frankly, there was just way too much information presented and ideas to think about.

So. What I’m going to do is this: write a blog post each day, some very brief, some longer, for the next few weeks on one particular issue addressed. There were a lot of them. A real lot.

The hosts were fantastic and the panelists spectacular.
Hosted by Town of Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio, West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio, and Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard.

The Palm Beach Post article today about this meeting goes way beyond disappointing and not worth addressing in any serious way, mostly it was a distracting read.

Why Post reporter Kristina Webb was not tasked with reporting this news story is a mystery. She has a Millennial perspective — very important going forward — and most of the public interested in these topics and searching for news can agree, Webb has much credibility on issues such as this: local and County transportation, traffic, and planning. The editor(s) dropped the ball not picking a fresh set of eyes on this important topic.

This meeting was about the current state of traffic, much discussion about Okeechobee Blvd., and moving forward into the future. There were looks into the past and how agencies could have worked better and coordinated better, but those were brief and didn’t dominate the discussion or distract from the issues at hand.

You’ll be pleased to know I also took video of this meeting so you can form your own opinions and share with others who are interested. Here are two videos, there will be more:
  • For segment #1 use this link
  • For segment #2 use this link.
  • To be notified when new videos are posted, click on the red “Subscribe” icon and you will get an email.
By the way, also learned yesterday the Convention Center in West Palm Beach has booked events for 2020, three years from now. Information that may be helpful for the owner of the Gulfstream Hotel in Downtown Lake Worth as we await more “vibrant” news, maybe an update from a Sun Sentinel article almost 2 months ago.

Was also reminded that conventioneers tend to go back to places they visited in past years. News that doesn’t do much good for my City of Lake Worth. We’re awaiting the day our City can contribute to the bed tax in a significant way. Hope springs eternal.

It’s a mistake thinking this is a West Palm Beach issue. It goes way beyond that. The Town of Palm Beach and neighboring cities like Lake Worth need to pay close attention. This is a regional issue in Central Palm Beach County and the City of West Palm Beach needs to be applauded for having this conversation.

Here are some photos from yesterday with more information as well:
From left to right, Moderator Dana Little (standing), Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. Forum introduction panelists: Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard; County Engineer George Webb, P.E.; former West Palm Beach Mayor Nancy Graham; and FDOT District 4 Operations Engineer Mark Plass.

And publicized by social media. . .
What was described as a “packed house” yesterday by Yours Truly on Twitter. The Post reported this event in the print edition yesterday, May 22nd — the very day of the event — timely huh? But many knew about it already.

And there was more news at this meeting as well:
Save the date: June 12–15 at the Convention Center in West Palm Beach.

During one of the breaks I asked people how they learned about this meeting. Almost everyone said “social media”.

Thank You for visiting today. And check back tomorrow for more.

1 comment:

Russ said...

So far WPB has obliterated several historic neighborhood cores.
Broadway from 25th Street to city limits has been gutted.
Better choices could have been made for Pleasant City/North Tamarind. Along with Northwood these areas remain walkable, but most historic structures and their sense of place is gone.

One has to wonder what planners were thinking when the entire City Place & Convention Center complex was on the drawing board.
Joe Minicozzi and I used to talk about what would come, the result of an unfortunate reach for tax revenue over city functionality. Surface traffic is beyond sustainable density and for pedestrians, it can be nightmarish.

I don't think there was long-term planning for ANY of these locations. At any rate, tunneling or raising the train at Okeechobee and providing pedestrian bridges seem like the only options available for now.

Looking forward to your reports on the conference.