Sun Sentinel Broward Edition

Pedes­trian, bike projects will be up­dated

- Michael Turn­bell — Keith Hayes, Coral Springs — Sheila Simp­son, Co­conut Creek — Brian Levine, Boca Ra­ton

Q: Why is Coral Springs not in­cluded among the $100 mil­lion in bi­cy­cle and pedes­trian projects be­ing built over the next five years? Many ma­jor roads have wide shoul­ders that could eas­ily ac­com­mo­date bike lanes, yet none ex­ist ex­cept on busy Uni­ver­sity Drive.

A: Plan­ners gave top pri­or­ity to roads that could ben­e­fit from ex­press buses, bus rapid tran­sit or some type of street­car or rail sys­tem.

Their anal­y­sis in­cluded a list of bi­cy­cle and pedes­trian projects that would im­prove con­nec­tiv­ity to th­ese cor­ri­dors, such as Broward Boule­vard, U.S. 1, Oak­land Park Boule­vard and State Road 7 — all in the cen­tral or eastern part of the county where tran­sit rid­er­ship is high­est.

Mean­while, the Broward Metropoli­tan Plan­ning Or­ga­ni­za­tion has com­pleted a cor­ri­dor study on Hol­ly­wood/Pines Boule­vard, where $20 mil­lion in bi­cy­cle and pedes­trian projects have been iden­ti­fied. An­other study is un­der­way for Uni­ver­sity Drive and fu­ture stud­ies will look at Sam­ple Road and Sun­rise Boule­vard.

“We are go­ing to be proac­tive at updating the map,” said bike and pedes­trian co­or­di­na­tor Ri­cardo Gu­tier­rez. “The map will show a more geop-graph­i­cal dis­tri­bu­tion of projects.”

Q: Un­til a year ago, a nat­u­ral bar­rier of fi­cus trees helped re­duce noise and soot com­ing from Florida’s Turn­pike near the Saw­grass Ex­press­way in­ter­change. Now that the trees are gone and a new exit ramp from the turn­pike to the Saw­grass has been built, the noise is un­bear­able. What is the cri­te­ria to get a noise wall?

A: Noise walls aren’t built un­til the high­way is widened, and plans to add lanes to the turn­pike from At­lantic Boule­vard to the Palm Beach County line are on hold.

The widen­ing from At­lantic to the Saw­grass exit was planned to go for­ward about seven years ago, but rev­enues de­clined and the work was post­poned. The lat­est sched­ule shows de­sign will begin in 2016.

The turn­pike’s five-year work pro­gram is eval­u­ated ev­ery year and that may change. The fea­si­bil­ity of build­ing noise walls will be eval­u­ated if the project is sched­uled and funded.

Un­der state re­quire­ments, sound lev­els must reach 66 deci­bels to make a com­mu­nity el­i­gi­ble for a noise bar­rier, and the wall has to cut the noise by at least five deci­bels. In Florida, the wall can’t cost more than $42,000 for each home it benefits. The cost for noise walls varies on the height and length, lo­ca­tion and the size of the project.

Q: The sig­nals at Yamato Road and Cain Boule­vard in West Boca seem to have been al­tered due to a paving project on Cain. It now takes an ex­ceed­ingly long time to change no mat­ter which di­rec­tion you are driv­ing. Can the sig­nal re­turn back to its old tim­ing?

A: The project is not yet fin­ished and crews are now in­stalling pave­ment mark­ings. Palm Beach County traf­fic en­gi­neer­ing direc­tor Dan Weis­berg said the ve­hi­cle de­tec­tion loops in the pave­ment are dam­aged when a road is milled and repaved.

“With no work­ing ve­hi­cle de­tec­tion loops, the sig­nal runs on a fixed tim­ing pat­tern in­stead of [be­ing] de­mand re­spon­sive. We need to wait a while for the as­phalt to fully cure be­fore we cut into it to in­stall new ve­hi­cle de­tec­tion loops,” he said.

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