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In unanimous 5-0 vote, Commissioners approved mobility plan putting safety, reliability and quality of life at the forefront of City’s future mobility network
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 22, 2018)—At a meeting of the West Palm Beach City Commission on May 21, 2018, Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the Downtown West Palm Beach Mobility Plan, a bold initiative to enhance the way people and goods move throughout our downtown. The plan is the framework of best practices that will guide the City’s decision making, as it relates to mobility, through 2040. The mobility plan provides the lens through which future transportation projects will be prioritized and implemented in the City and serves as a road map to create a modern, well-balanced transportation system that provides real mobility choices and creates great places where people want to invest their time and money. It is also a shared community vision for how people travel that is built on shared desired outcomes.
“West Palm Beach is on track to become one of the world’s most livable cities, with future investments in real mobility choices which give people the option to walk, bike, ride or drive in a safe and comfortable environment,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “This Mobility Plan sets goals for the year 2040 and guides the city’s mobility decisions and priorities for the years ahead.”
For more than a year, the City contracted with Alta + Planning and Design to develop the mobility study, which was spearheaded by noted mobility and transit experts. Engagement and communication with the community and stakeholders were top priorities critical to the success of the mobility plan. Over the course of a year, City employees delivered more than 50-presentations including a 4-day charrette to meet with community members and develop feedback.
“This plan puts safety, reliability and quality of life at the forefront by putting pedestrians first, building safer cycling facilities, and investing in fast and reliable transit,” said Assistant City Administrator Scott Kelly. “The plan will create a connected network to our downtown and find more efficient ways to bring our regional workforce into West Palm Beach.”
The mobility plan outlines specific actions organized into short-, medium-, and long-term stepping stones that will guide the community toward achieving the type of city West Palm Beach wants to be. The plan’s key recommendations include:
·        Projects such as intersection improvements, improved lighting, mobility/transit hub, improved signal timing, dedicated rapid bus transit lanes, expansion of trolley routes to make Okeechobee Boulevard a safe and efficient corridor.
·        Added multimodal access including vehicular capacity by providing a Fern Street connection across the SFRTA tracks from Australian Avenue to Flagler Drive.
·        Expansion of bicycle network to safely connect neighborhoods and people to jobs, schools, parks, businesses and the downtown.
·        Incorporation of transportation demand management strategies as a part of future land use planning in order to mitigate future congestion and encourage alternative modes of transportation such as walking, biking, and trolley riding.
·        Restructuring parking strategies to reduce congestion, increase availability and improve overall user experience.
·        Incorporation of new technologies (ie. autonomous rideshare).
·        Optimization and expansion of trolley and bus services and routes.
·        Adoption and implementation of Vision Zero, a  strategy to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.
·        Mode shift goal of 14% over the next 20 years to offset growth.
The Downtown Mobility Plan is not an approval of current or future projects, funding or fees.  If the city were to move forward with individual projects or initiatives that a recommended in the study, the project and initiatives would go individually before the Commission for a vote for a vote at a later date with opportunity for public comment and input.
To view the Downtown West Palm Beach Mobility Plan, please visit: http://www.wpb.org/plansandstudies.