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Ft. Lauderdale addresses traffic on main road to Bahia Mar, port

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Staff with the city of Ft. Lauderdale have been working with federal officials for the past year to analyze and study traffic issues on Southeast 17th Street and are nearly ready to make its recommendations.

The study’s scope and goals included easing traffic congestion and improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Not only is 17th Street one of the central veins of South Florida’s marine industry, it is also the primary access to Fort Lauderdale beach for a county of nearly 2 million people, and it is the main access to the third-busiest cruise ship terminal in the world.

Unlike many traffic corridors where peak hours are during morning and afternoon rush hours, the city noted that 17th Street has peak hours all day. And with visitors walking and riding bikes along the road, it also has been noted as one of the most dangerous in the county. Between 2009-2014, the city of Ft. Lauderdale was No. 2 in the country for pedestrian fatalities with 5.86 per 100,000 residents and fifth in traffic fatalities 16.98 per 100,000 residents, more than any other Florida city in either category.

A key hiccup to a simple solution is that Southeast 17th Street east of U.S. 1 is actually A1A, a federal roadway. Traffic has been studied and analyzed since summer and is nearly complete, with the city prepared to give recommendations to elected officials in January.

Ft. Lauderdale addresses traffic on main road to Bahia Mar, port

Since attention began on the area in late 2014, a few improvements have been made, including moving the security entrance inside Port Everglades to beyond the public access entrance to the convention center; more time on the green lights on 17th Street; giving pedestrians a head start at 10th Street, Cordova Road and Eisenhower Boulevard; acquiring a grant to help pay for upgrades to Cordova Road between 17th and 15th streets; and the beginning of a study to add another on-ramp onto I-595, which will alleviate traffic on US1, which backs traffic up onto 17th Street.

City staff is preparing a list of recommendations for city commissioners that are expected to include a 20-foot-wide shared-use path along 17th Street that is protected from traffic; possible construction of another access road parallel to 17th Street a few streets to the south; special traffic signal timing for special events to help move traffic in or out of the area; enforcement of truck routes off 17th Street and onto Eller Drive; and more wayfinding signs to help people find their way without using 17th Street when possible.

City staff are accepting public comments through Dec. 31 on these and other recommendations. To review the plan and make comments, click here.

— Lucy Chabot Reed

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About Lucy Chabot Reed

Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher and founding editor of The Triton.

View all posts by Lucy Chabot Reed →

4 thoughts on “Ft. Lauderdale addresses traffic on main road to Bahia Mar, port

  1. Sanjeet Veen

    Is this possible that in all over the world people would ride the bicycle for their all jobs in the cities where they are living. I researched, even I ride bicycle for my office job every day 20km through it; what about others – it is possible to travel 20km up-down every day through bicycle in the same city. If this possible then awareness about it is necessary.

  2. Linda Postyn

    I wonder what will happen with traffic and pedestrian traffic once plans for Whole Foods and 200+ units goes into motion on the NW corner of Federal and SE 17th St. PLEASE think ahead!!

  3. Norman Benoit

    Where the hell is that tunnel digging machine now that the Miami tunnel is done? Let’s connect A1A from the north side of the port to the south side and eliminate the traffic that has to go around Port Everglades. That’s right, another tunnel! Fix the missing A1A link for southbound A1A! And when that’s done let’s put the train in a tunnel too.

  4. John Wampler

    Here’s a concept. STOP THE DEVELOPMENT OF HIGH RISES ON THE BEACH. We have limited resources to handle what we already have on the ground. But the liberal democrat commissioners only see INCREASED TAX REVENUE to a solution which they created. Where does the madness end?

    And why do they always have to redesign the median every 5 years? It’s a flower box. Then it’s paving bricks. Then its a tree farm. Then it’s paving bricks again. The commish ideology is, if we don’t spend all the money now, we cannot justify a budget increase for next year! It’s a freaking road, FGS!!

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