Walkable West Palm Beach

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Sunday: Paint a mural in an intersection!

This Sunday, a group of volunteers will be painting the intersection at Fern Street and Tamarind with the mural pictured below. It’s a joint effort by The Knight Foundation, StreetPlans, Dreyfoos School of the Arts, the City of West Palm Beach, and the Downtown Development Authority. Hope to see you there Sunday from 11 am – 2 pm!

To participate: Fill out this form and email to Brandon Zicker, City of West Palm Beach.

Tamarind and Fern mural design.jpg




Background:  Street Plans, an urban planning business, received a grant from the Knight Foundation to implement an Intersection Repair Project and they selected the City for its pilot program. Intersection Repair is a creative means to “purpose a neighborhood street intersection as a community space.”  

Who?  Working with the Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Visual Arts Department students were invited to participate as teams to create proposals for the first Intersection Repair to be painted in the city.  

Why?  The main objective of this project will be to demonstrate the impact that this creative intervention Intersection Repair model can have on the community.  It is intended to draw attention to the context of this intersection and to place emphasis on the routes of other non-auto oriented forms of transportation: walking, bicycling, and public transit.  

How?  Six teams of visual art students, grades 9-12, submitted proposals – Art in Public Places selected the design

When?  Sunday, March 5, 2017 11am – 2pm  

Where?  At the intersection of Tamarind Ave. and Fern Street

The Art Team: The selected team is made of four young ladies, Ania Johnson, Jessica Raia, Megan Tachev and Dani Walters

The Intersection Repair Design:    

The selected design incorporates different species of native palm trees mixed with silhouettes of active people biking, walking, etc. wrapped in warm, vibrant colors reflective of our environment.  

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

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.


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.

The downtown alleyway revitalization project “C’Est la Via” is tomorrow, 4/12

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Join the FAU School of Urban and Regional Planning, the WPB Downtown Development Authority, the Downtown Neighborhood Association, and many other contributors to this reimagining of a downtown alleyway. It’s the 300 block of alleyway, between Clematis and Datura streets.

Very excited to be collaborating with this group of doers on this project and excited for more to come! As if that’s not enough reason to come downtown, the epic WPB HAPPY video is being filmed, the Greenmarket is going on, and it’s Library on the Lawn. Whew!

See you tomorrow!

Park(ing) Day is happening on the 200 block of Clematis Street today, til 5 pm!

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Park(ing) Day makes better use of our public space, transforming parking spaces into temporary “parklets” to be enjoyed by the community.  FAU’s school of Urban and Regional Planning and the DDA collaborate on this wonderful event, which is a worldwide phenomenon. Follow the action on Twitter with hashtag #parkingday.

Parklets would make a great addition on Clematis Street and Datura, where lots of foot traffic, outdoor cafe seating, and narrow sidewalks can add up to make the sidewalks impassable or just too constricted feeling in certain places (in front of Duffy’s and Rocco’s springs to mind). Having lots of activity on the street is a good problem to have, and parklets are a great way to extend the public space and build an even stronger sense of unique place in downtown WPB.

Read more about the project in the promotional flyers, below.

parklet parking day 9-20-13 2

Rocco’s Taco’s is looking good!

parklet parking day 9-20-13

The view from Design Within Reach

Park(ing) Day_Media

Details on WPB Park(ing) Day