Walkable West Palm Beach

City: Seventeen Walkability Study recommendations ready to go, right now

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The Post reports that the city committee tasked with implementing Speck’s report has a list of 17 recommendations that “can and should” be done right away. This is fantastic news. The faster we do so, the stronger our city will become.

I was especially pleased to see consensus reached on parking signage. Moving forward on this, now, instead of waiting another 10 years for the perfect citywide master plan, is the right approach for a light piece of infrastructure that is relatively low cost and easy to change. Keep it tactical.

As the changes become visible, I will post them on the blog. City Staff: Please contact the blog as we would like to cover these positive changes.

Story from the Palm Beach Post.

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West Palm Beach already putting ‘walkability’ ideas in place

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At least 17 of urban designer and “walkability expert” Jeff Speck’s ideas to improve downtown West Palm Beach can be done right away, and should, a city committee says.

After Speck submitted his 101-page report in the fall, a committee began meeting weekly, Rick Greene, director of development services and a member of the group, said Friday.

West Palm Beach already putting ‘walkability’ ideas in place photo

Allen Eyestone

“There are going to be costs associated with all of them,” Greene said. He noted that something such as narrowing travel lanes to make room for extra parking, require nothing more than some street paint.

Others, he said, will require approval by the city commission because they’re more expensive or because they are weighty concepts.

One of the latter would be the one that probably has drawn the most attention: how to make it easier to cross busy Okeechobee Boulevard

West Palm Beach already putting ‘walkability’ ideas in place photo

Damon Higgins

Some of the 17:

Sapodilla Avenue: Restripe between Evernia and Fern streets to two 11-foot driving lanes and an 8-foot parking lane Restore parking on the east side between Banyan and Datura streets.

Rosemary Avenue: designate as a key bicycle route from the Convention Center Hotel to 11th Street, including across Okeechobee, with bikes mixing with slow-moving traffic. Revert the one-way segment from 7th to 9th street to two-way traffic (would require city commission OK).

Fifth Street: Reinstate seven parallel parking spots that had been eliminated. Restripe a 30-foot section to reduce two 15-foot driving lanes to 11- foot lanes and add an 8-foot parking lane.

Evernia Street: Restripe the roadway between Quadrille Boulevard and Olive Avenue to create two 11-foot motor lanes flanked by two 16-foot-deep angled parking areas.

Fern Street: Replace 10-foot driving lanes with 8foot parking lanes, 9 feet of green space, and 8foot sidewalks. On one side, insert an 8-foot two-way cycle track. Offer merchants the option of small parklet decks for sidewalk dining.

Parking: Hike meter parking rates so there’s always about a 15 percent vacancy of curbside spaces. Use extra money to improve neighborhoods where meters are.

All Aboard Florida: Connect Clematis, Datura, Evernia, and Fern streets with a connector. (Working with All Aboard.)

Seventh Street: reconnect across Florida East Coast Railway tracks to where city hopes to build a “jazz neighborhood.” (Working with FEC.)

Signs: Install prominent signs directing visitors to downtown parking garages.

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