A plan to make South Florida Avenue through Dixieland and downtown a three-lane “complete street” will head to the City Commission with strong support from the redevelopment agency advisory board.
“I’m going to be supportive of it and carry the ball as far as I can,” City Commissioner Jim Malless said Thursday. Malless is the commission’s representative on the Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board.
Under the plan, South Florida Avenue between Pine and Ariana streets would be reduced to three lanes – two traffic lanes and a turn lane – and use the extra space to widen sidewalks, plant shade trees and make the corridor more pedestrian and commerce friendly. The street now has four lanes with no turn lane.
“Safety is a huge component of this,” said Dana Little, urban design director of Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, one of the organizations involved in the redesign of the street. “We believe there would be a substantial, a noticeable decrease in vehicular accidents on this roadway.”
Ultimately, the City Commission will have to decide if the downsides of nixing two travel lanes will be made up with the improvements.
The planning experts’ opinion is that a safer, slightly slower and more attractive South Florida Avenue will do better than the status quo – a cramped road where many of the businesses have turned their backs to the throughway.
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