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Here’s The Scoop … The Lauderdale-By-The-Sea May 24,2011 Commission Meeting … Whoa …. Wrong Signals… #1 …

May 25, 2011 by Barbara

HOLD ON ……

Dear Readers … last night was a certainly a night of mixed signals … lots and lots of them….

Signal #1…

Under presentations the Town Manager introduced her the Town’s Traffic consultant and said she had “3 particular issues” she wanted her to present…There was the presentation of the 3 week test that will begin at the intersection of A1A and Commercial Blvd. in the center of Town this Friday through Tues. at 6am and the following 2 weeks on Friday thru Mon. morning at 6 am which takes the traffic signals off the system to allow the traffic and pedestrian walking to be altered…The Town’s Traffic Engineering consultant Molly Hughs who has been in the role she said for 3-4 months had observers watch the pedestrian traffic count on a Friday night at “peak hours” from 7:15-8:15 producing 915 pedestrians mostly walkers 98% ..no strollers,dogs, bikes and less than 3% children needing adult “maintenance” and on Sunday at “peak hours” between 4pm and 5 pm which produced 700 pedestrians 25% fewer with just over 5% walking and less than 2% children needing adult “maintenance” … Ms. Hughs said she had never counted¬† so many pedestrians at one corner ..With the data they were able to get the signals removed from the system to see what happens in a different scenario which may lead to other such changes in order to end up with seems to be the idea put forth at a charette in March of a 4- way red light that will allow pedestrians time to walk without any traffic going and then allow vehicles to do the same… It will not only make the fear factor go away for the pedestrians said Ms. Hughs but it will make the traffic flow as well due to no holdup from pedestrians in order to left or make a right on red … a win-win…The game plan in place…certain hoops need to be done to get to the goal line…thus the 3 week test/study… Then the awful looking poles could be removed…They were installed Ms. Hughs surmised after being asked by Comm. Clottey were placed there to keep drivers from turning into parked cars … She also went into the overpass over the intracoastal an d lowering the speed limit…Some data was compiled and she and Don Prince went to FDOT and were told no it would not be lowered to 30mph from 35mph…Ms. Hughs took the opportunity to inform the Commission and the audience how to get the speed limits lowered by designing restrictions such as less road space which lowers the average driver which then leads to the study showing lowered speed of vehicles and getting the FDOT on board…She said it was akin to needing 5 fatalities at a signal before it is serious enough to stop anymore… She explained difficulties on state roads and allowed traffic calming on non-state roads…¬† The Commissioners asked some questions… most we have heard before and were already covered in prior discussions…Comm. Vincent wanted to know how people were going to know they needed to wait when the 4-way red lights began…Ms. Hughs said education would go along with such a change… Comm. Sasser agreed with Comm. Vincent’s concerns and spoke of the length of pedestrian time required for those who cannot make it through at the present rate… The VM asked about the signal and the loop and triggers in place… and the Mayor made the last statement saying “the real key ” is they are addressing the issue….Which of course leads this writer to ask as I will continue to ask…We are now in late May 2011 and this situation was on the May 2010 priority list …Why did it take a year plus for it to get to this point…My opinion…the Master Plan redevelopment…(more examples to come )…

The next mixed signal …came at public comments…with early fireworks ….that arose ….it appears…. from mixed signals behind the scenes paired with a good dose of political fervor that ignited into some deja vu moments from the past at the podium and on the dais… LBTS pre-election season …. some things never change!…

more to come………..

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