The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is working on plans to improve US-441 (State Road 7). They’re looking specifically at the stretch from Glades Road in West Boca down to Sample Road in Broward County. FDOT is making a presentation to the Palm Beach County Metropolitan Planning Organization on Thursday at 9 am, which is considering whether to endorse the plan:
The plan recommends (in bureaucratic language of course):
Context Sensitive Alternative with multimodal solutions
– Bicycle and pedestrian facilities
– Transit stop infrastructure and access improvements
– Intersection improvements to improve traffic flow
Transportation systems management and operations (TSM&O) initiatives
– Traffic signal system operations
– Traveler information and incident management
– Transit service and operations
A lot of the discussion deals with “transit” which is another word for buses. Palm Tran and BCT (Broward County Transit) are mentioned by name in the document we reviewed.
The biggest change we see in pictures like the one above are the “Premium Bus Stop.” While much of the focus is on transit, there are some minor intersection improvements in the conversation, and most are in West Boca. This may be a smaller part of the document but it looks like a much bigger chunk of money.
The plans would add or expand turn lanes at Marina (SW 18th), Sandalfoot, Judge Winikoff, Palmetto Park, Boca Woods, and Glades Road. Some of these make little sense to us. For example, the plan says to “add a westbound right-turn lane” at Palmetto Park Road. There is already a long right-turn lane there and we’ve never seen it back up.
The proposal to add a “westbound left-turn lane” at Boca Woods Lane makes even less sense. Boca Woods Lane, by that name, sits entirely west of 441. The east side, where a westbound left-turn lane would be, is named N Central Park Blvd. That’s the loop that serves West Boca Medical Center. It already has a left-turn lane.
Adding a westbound turn lane at Sandalfoot would probably require a bridge upgrade, which we mentioned before is in the works.
The most important change mentioned is increasing storage capacity for the southbound left-turn lanes on 441 at Glades. These back up quite a bit, though we don’t see a lot of room for that because of the northbound left turn lane into Mission Bay Plaza.
Other plans include:
Traffic Signal System Operation
• Signal coordination through jurisdictional boundaries n Adaptive signal timing
• Peak period arterial progression
• Dynamic signal timing
Information and Incident Management
• Incident and emergency management
•Traveler information systems
• Transit information system
• Transit signal priority/Queue jump
Most of it again sounds like efforts to improve busing, such as signs to provide updates on transit information (such as how far away the next bus is). Others may not appreciate giving buses priority on traffic signals.
For the next five years transit improvements will be limited to traffic signals and signs for bus status updates. There’s also talk of creating a hub at West Boca Medical Center to connect Palm Tran and BCT, as well as upgrading bus stops.
If all goes ahead as planned the intersection improvements would start about five years from now.
The project website is SR7Mobility.com. For the document that was provided to us by FDOT and that will be used for Thursday morning’s meeting, click the following link for the SR7-US-441 pdf file.