Monday, August 6, 2018

Lake Worth City Commissioner at TCRPC about our City’s “good grid system” and “arterial” challenges.

First, what is an ‘arterial’? Dixie Hwy. is one example of an arterial and so are the east-west Downtown pairs Lake and Lucerne avenues, arterial roadways all controlled and managed by FDOT:

Arterial (adjective): “[B]eing or constituting a main route, channel, or other course of flow or access, often with many branches: an arterial highway; an arterial drainage system.”

The C-51 Canal is also an arterial, one managed by the South Florida Water Management District. This particular canal is part of a future project called the Blueway Trail which will create public waterway access for ecotourism and water taxis in Palm Beach County.

The quote (see below) by Commissioner Omari Hardy is from the minutes of the June 15th Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council meeting. Hardy is an alternate on the Council representing Palm Beach County. For the director and staff at the TCRPC click on this link; the next meeting is scheduled for August 17th.

For those unaware, here is your representation at the TCPRC from Palm Beach County:

  • Palm Beach County Commissioner Hal Valeche.
  • PBC Commissioner Mary Lou Berger.
  • PBC Commission Vice Mayor Mack Bernard.
  • Village of Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig.
  • Village of Royal Palm Beach Councilman Jeff Hmara.
  • Village of Tequesta Mayor Abby Brennan.
  • Alternate: City of Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy.
  • Alternate: City of West Palm Beach Commissioner Paula Ryan.

Without further ado, from the minutes of the TCRPC meeting last month:

Alternate Commissioner Hardy noted when he first came to Council he was encouraged by the executive director [Michael Busha] to read the book Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream written by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Jeff Speck [see more information about book below]. He stated he read the book twice and was so fascinated he attended a Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) conference. He explained that CNU is a group of people who want to create walkable, livable, sustainable communities the way they had been created up until World War II. He said he was able to learn a lot about some of the hard problems we are facing in South Florida and encouraged everyone to attend CNU events. He indicated that although they [City of Lake Worth] have a good grid system within the different neighborhoods in Lake Worth, in order to get from one neighborhood to another people have to cross an arterial that is not controlled by the city. Because of this, he said they are beginning to have discussions with the county [Palm Beach County] and the Florida Department of Transportation on how to effectively move people around the city without compromising some of their other livability objectives.

Later, following this meeting at the TCRPC, Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner became involved and then the subsequent “Town Hall Traffic Meeting” held this week in the City of Lake Worth. So you may be wondering, how important is the TCRPC in this little City and the whole scheme of things regionally?

It’s said what happens at the TCRPC last month is this month’s news.

About the book Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream:

“For a decade, Suburban Nation has given voice to a growing movement in North America to put an end to suburban sprawl and replace the last century’s automobile-based settlement patterns with a return to more traditional planning. Founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk are at the forefront of the movement, and even their critics, such as Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard, recognized that ‘Suburban Nation is likely to become this movement’s bible.’ A lively lament about the failures of postwar planning, this is also that rare book that offers solutions: ‘an essential handbook’ (San Francisco Chronicle).”

The tenth anniversary edition includes a new preface by the authors.