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Transportation Matters - October 26, 2016

Transportation Matters - October 26, 2016

Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization www.PalmBeachMPO.org October 26 , 2016
 

News & Announcements

Final Phase of Bluegill Trail Opens - Nov. 10

Join us for the opening of the final phase of the Bluegill Trail, which received $750,000 in Transportation Alternatives program funds through the MPO. The program previously funded $500,000 towards construction of the initial section between Riverbend Park in Jupiter and Sandhill Crane Access Park at PGA Blvd. which opened in March of 2011. The completed trail now extends south to Grassy Waters Preserve in West Palm Beach. Click to learn more. The Bluegill Trail offers scenic views for hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. 

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TRANSPO 2016 - Nov. 13-16 

The Palm Beach County Convention Center will be the site for TRANSPO 2016 which includes sessions divided into the following four themes:

  • Serving Pedestrians and Bicyclists
  • Making Vehicles Smarter - The Future of Connected Vehicles
  • Traffic Engineering
  • ITS Applications for Operations and Management

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FDOT Presentation on New Trends in Transportation - Dec. 1

Please join the Gold Coast Chapter of the American Society of Highway Engineers for an enlightening presentation by southeast Florida's top transportation officials: Gerry O'Reilly, FDOT District 4 Secretary on the right, and Jim Wolfe, FDOT District 6 Secretary (and former District 4 Secretary) on the left. The event will be held 5:30 - 8:30 PM at the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. Click for details. The Florida Dept. of Transportation's District 4 includes Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties, and District 6 includes Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Additionally, the Florida Dept. of Transportation has a new, easier to remember web address: www.fdot.gov

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Safety is Golden Mobility Fair - Dec. 6

In support of Older Driver Safety Awareness week in December, the Safety is Golden Mobility Fair in Boca Raton will offer indoor activities and exhibits including a Palm Beach MPO display. Local and state mobility and transportation experts will share resources with older adults on topics ranging from the impacts of aging on driving, and planning future mobility needs, including the use of alternatives including walking, biking and transit. Outdoors, an event will take place to allow drivers to find the perfect fit with their automobiles. This free and interactive event is open to the public to share information with drivers, families, and caregivers.
Click for details.

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First Regional Safe Streets Summit - Jan. 26-27, 2017

Save the date! Now accepting registrations and sponsors for the first regional Safe Streets Summit. With a reputation for incredible, nationally known speakers, the Broward MPO has hosted the Summit for three previous years. Now including the Palm Beach and Miami-Dade MPOs, the 2017 Safe Streets Summit will be held at the Sunrise Civic Center, and future Summit locations will rotate throughout the region. Updates will be provided as speakers are confirmed and the agenda is finalized. Potential sponsors/ exhibitors should inquire now for maximum recognition!  

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Mail Campaign Currently Underway for Regional Travel Survey

Please respond and participate if you receive a survey request in the mail regarding the Regional Travel Survey. The Southeast Florida Transportation Council (SEFTC) - a regional partnership of the Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade MPO's - has mailed thousands of survey forms to a demographic sampling of the region to help MPO planners better meet the needs of the traveling public. SEFTC began data collection for the first phase of the survey in mid-September, and it will continue through early 2017. Whether you travel by car, train, bus, bicycle or any other mode, participation in this study will inform transportation decisions over the years to come. Participation is easy and voluntary, and information that is collected is kept strictly confidential and secure. Click the link for the Regional Travel Survey, or call the Palm Beach MPO Public Information Office at 561.684.4143 for additional information.   

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Palm Tran Adds New Bus Stop Seats

Palm Tran unveiled the first of 24 new bus seats on Oct. 3. Palm Beach County Commissioner/ MPO Board Member Priscilla Taylor and Palm Tran Executive Director Clinton Forbes presented the first installation in Delray Beach. The 2-seat design attaches directly to the bus stop pole. Bus seats are an inviting amenity for riders at selected stops chosen for this pilot program among locations where right-of-way issues prevent a bus bench or shelter from being placed at the location.

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West Palm Beach Brightline Station Taking Shape

All Aboard Florida continues progress on its downtown West Palm Beach rail station between Datura and Evernia streets. The nearly 60,000 square foot station and platform will connect the neighborhood's existing vehicular, trolley, and pedestrian networks and establish links to the Tri-Rail and Amtrak West Palm Beach Station, creating a new transportation hub. The station is anticipated to begin serving Brightline rail passengers beginning in 2017. Click link for station details. The MPO has funded supplemental safety infrastructure features at grade crossings along the route in Palm Beach County to qualify for a continuous Quiet Zone to replace the routine blowing of train horns. All Aboard Florida construction is also underway on stations in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, with similar design features.

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Transportation Photo Contest Winners Honored

Photographers of the winning photos in each category of the MPO's Transportation Photo Contest were recognized at the MPO Governing Board meeting on Oct. 20. The MPO thanks all who submitted photos. All submitted photos have the opportunity to be used for MPO documents, the MPO website and in social media.

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FHWA Gives Interim Approval for Bicycle Boxes

On Oct. 12, 2016, the Federal Highway Administration issued Interim Approval 18 allowing the optional use of Intersection bicycle boxes. A bike box is a designated area at the head of a traffic lane at a signalized intersection that provides bicyclists with a safe and visible way to get ahead of traffic during the red signal phase. Bike boxes are designed to increase the visibility of bicyclists, reduce signal delay for bicyclists, increase safety for bicyclists making left turns, prioritize bicyclists and group bicyclists together to clear an intersection quickly, and to benefit pedestrians from reduced vehicle encroachment into the crosswalk. Jurisdictions wishing to use bike boxes must submit a written request to the FHWA. Click for details.

"Trails and Greenways: What's Next?" - Nov. 17

American Trails presents this webinar free to both members and nonmembers to cover latest trends in the planning, promotion, and conservation of trail and greenway corridors. Click for details.

The MPO website has a new "Funding and Related Opportunities" page for non-MPO opportunities including grants, internships and technical assistance. Current listings include opportunities for summer paid internships with the US Dept. of Transportation, as well as grant opportunities from the Knight Foundation, Safe Routes to School, People for Bikes, and more. Find the new web page under the "Plans & Resources" tab. Please email website links for suggested opportunities to include on this page to Malissa Booth

Upcoming Project Meetings

95 Express Lanes Expansion into Palm Beach County
Thursday, Oct. 27 
Public Information Workshop 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 100 Fairfied Dr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

The Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) is holding a Public Information Workshop regarding expansion of the 95 Express in Broward County and into southern Palm Beach County. Click for notice of the workshop. Click to review updated slides presented to the MPO Governing Board on Oct. 26. 

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Palmetto Park Rd. in Boca Raton
Tuesday, Nov. 29 (rescheduled from Oct. 11) 
Open House 5:00 - 7:00 PM
Location: City of Boca Raton Downtown Library, 400 NW 2nd Ave., Boca Raton, FL 33432

The Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) is holding an informal open house to update the community on the project design and final plans for proposed improvements for the Shared Use Path Project on Palmetto Park Rd. from SR 7/US 441 to NW 2nd Ave. in Boca Raton. Click for a notice of the Open House. 

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FDOT District 4 Work Program Public Meetings & Hearings
Wednesday, Nov. 30 - 6:30 PM 
FDOT Public Hearing & Webinar

Members of the public are invited to attend in person and provide comments at one of the below listed locations, or to participate by webinar, including the ability to provide comments:

  • FDOT District 4 Headquarters, 3400 W. Commercial Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309 
  • FDOT Palm Beach County Operations Center, 7900 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33413
  • FDOT Treasure Coast Operations Center, 3601 Oleander Ave., Ft. Pierce, FL 34982
  • Webinar:  Register in advance to participate by webinar

Additionally, FDOT staff representatives will present the District 4 Work Program at the MPO public meetings listed below. Members of the public are invited to attend these MPO meetings and will be offered an opportunity to provide public comments on this or any other items on the agenda or general comments related to transportation matters under the purview of the MPO. 

FDOT Work Program Presentations to the MPO:

Wednesday, Dec. 7 - 9:00 AM
MPO Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Meeting
Location: MPO Conference Room 4E-12, 2300 N. Jog Rd., West Palm Beach, FL  33411

Monday, Dec. 12 - 9:00 AM
MPO Governing Board Meeting

Location: Palm Beach County Governmental Center, 301 N. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach, FL  33401

 

Access online agendas, backup materials, presentations, minutes and audio recordings of past meetings of the MPO Governing Board, MPO advisory committees, and the Transportation Disadvantaged Local Coordinating Board: PalmBeachMPO.org/meeting. Members of the public are encouraged to attend all meetings of the MPO Governing Board and its advisory committees and ad hoc committees.  Public Notice:  Please be advised that one or more members of the MPO Governing Board or any of its advisory committees may attend any of the following meetings.


Next Dates for MPO Governing Board and Committee Meetings

Thurs. Dec. 1, 9:07 AM Bicycle-Trailways-Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BTPAC)
Wed. Dec. 7, 9:00 AM Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
Wed. Dec. 7, 1:30 PM Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC)
Thurs. Dec. 8, 9:30 AM Transportation Disadvantaged Local Coordinating Board (LCB)
Mon. Dec. 12, 9:00 AM MPO Governing Board

October Meeting Presentations

Click to view the following presentations that were provided to the MPO Governing Board and its advisory committees except as noted:

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Complete calendar of all MPO meetings, events and related community activities:
PalmBeachMPO.org/calendar

Copenhagen Transportation Tour 

MPO Exec. Dir. Nick Uhren was among five south Florida transportation planning officials selected to visit Copenhagen, Denmark earlier this month as part of an annual study tour organized by the nonprofit 880 Cities, supported by the Knight Foundation. These experiences translate to improved infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists for more vibrant communities in the U.S. Also participating in the study tour were Scott Kelly, City of West Palm Beach Assistant City Administrator; Aileen Boucle, Miami-Dade MPO Exec. Dir.; Carlos Cruz-Casas, Miami-Dade County Dept. of Transportation and Public Works Assistant Director; and Jim Wolfe, FDOT District VI Secretary. Copenhagen is striving to become the best city for bicycling in the world.

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20th Anniversary of Walk to School Day

The MPO assisted with Walk to School Day at Manatee Elementary in Lake Worth on Oct. 14.

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South Florida GIS Expo

The MPO participates annually in the South Florida GIS Expo sponsored by the Palm Beach Countywide GIS Forum. The 2016 event was held Sep. 29-30 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. MPO Bike-Ped-TDM Coordinator Franchesca Taylor presented the MPO's pilot bicycle and pedestrian counting program at one of the breakout sessions, and MPO Public Information Officer Malissa Booth coordinated the MPO exhibit. Due to tremendous support from the many conference sponsors, the GIS Expo is a free event that attracts approximately 600 attendees. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology plays an important role in how the MPO visualizes, analyzes, evaluates and manages data layers for web mapping for better planning and to provide tools that enable the public to learn about and comment on transportation projects and facility needs. The MPO also collected suggestions on types of GIS transportation data that conference attendees would find useful. MPO staff members pictured L-R: Luke Lambert, Malissa Booth, Tim Verbeke, Anie Delgado, Franchesca Taylor, and Luke Lambert.

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Vision Zero Campaign To Eliminate Cyclist and Pedestrian Deaths

MPO Transit Planner Valerie Neilson was among the featured speakers for the WTS South Florida Chapter luncheon on Oct. 25. Vision Zero was the topic because roadway deaths for cyclists and pedestrians reached a five-decade high last year. The luncheon speakers talked about what agencies in south Florida are doing to attack this growing problem.

The Palm Beach MPO welcomes Tim Verbeke to the position of Planner I. Earlier this year, Tim received his Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Tim earned two Bachelors Degrees as a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater.     

Tim's previous professional experience includes internships with Wisconsin Clean Cities where he managed the Wisconsin Smart Fleet Program to provide fleets with planning tools, evaluations of alternative fuels and technologies; and an internship as an administrative/ urban planning internship with the Village of Richfield in Wisconsin. 

Transportation Resources

  • Complete Streets Resources 

Click for a collection of complete streets resources from Smart Growth America.

  • New Web Address for FDOT 
    FDOT has a new website address: www.fdot.gov is the new address that replaced www.dot.state.fl.us to streamline the agency's online presence. Click here for a complete listing of FDOT office web addresses that were also changed.
  • Transportation Statistics - There's an App for That! 
    The Pocket Guide to Transportation is an annual compilation of statistics that provides key information and highlights major trends for the U.S. transportation system. It is intended to make transportation statistics readily available to the public. Curious about the most congested urban areas or the busiest Amtrak stations? Now there's a smartphone app for the Pocket Guide. Click for information on the new app.
  • Public Notices for FDOT District 4
    Click here for public notices for District 4 which includes the following counties: Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River
     
  • Map of FDOT Construction Projects in Palm Beach County
    Click here for the interactive map. Click on traffic cone icons for project names and information.
  • Florida's Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) Weekly Construction Updates
    Click for announcements regarding updated lane closures and work zones due to construction and maintenance projects in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties.

Temporary Roadway Closures

All Aboard Florida rail construction along the FEC corridor will cause temporary roadway closures in November in West Palm Beach. The current schedule calls for the closing of the crossing at Gardenia St. (Nov. 3-8) and at Fern St. (Nov. 17-22). Click for current information on FEC grade crossing closures. For more information including an interactive map of all Palm Beach County grade crossings along the FEC corridor, click here. Construction continues on all three of All Aboard Florida's south Florida train stations including the West Palm Beach station where Brightline service is scheduled to begin in 2017.

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