Next week, the Wellington Village Council will consider closing part of Folkstone Circle to curb traffic cutting through the neighborhood.
At the Tuesday, Oct. 8 meeting, council members will decide whether the village should close a portion of Folkstone Circle between Yarmouth Court and Carlton Street.
“We’ve gotten resident feedback and feedback from the school crossing guards by New Horizons Elementary School,” Community Service Director Nicole Evangelista said. “This is a cut-through for residents dropping their kids off at school.”
The Yarmouth/Folkstone neighborhood is bordered by Greenview Shores Blvd. to the east and Greenbriar Blvd. to the south. By turning onto Carlton Street off Greenview Shores Blvd., residents can then take Folkstone Circle and exit on Greenbriar Blvd.
“Some residents are using it to bypass the major thoroughfares,” Evangelista said.
Folkstone Circle, however, loops around the neighborhood and connects with Carlton Street to the north of the proposed closure, so residents would still have access throughout the neighborhood.“We hope by making it a longer route, it would deter residents from cutting through the neighborhood,” Evangelista said.
The neighborhood is among Wellington’s so-called “transitional” neighborhoods, with both multifamily and single-family housing. There are about 88 single-family homes and 203 units grouped into quadruplexes. According to a Wellington staff report, 93 percent of the multifamily units are rentals.
Evangelista said that residents in the neighborhood were surveyed and cited the concern that traffic could be dangerous to children playing on the street.
Unlike when Wellington closed Goldenrod Road at a canal, effectively removing access between two communities, Evangelista said the area would be open to foot traffic. “We would remove the asphalt, take up the roadway and put down sod with some type of landscaping,” she said. “Foot traffic would still be accessible. Children from the neighborhood would still be able to walk to school.”
The closure would also give Wellington the opportunity to add more green space with a passive park for the neighborhood. Evangelista noted that many children in the area choose to play in the cul-de-sacs instead of crossing the road to Tiger Shark Cove Park. “We hope this will give us an opportunity for a passive park for children in the neighborhood,” she said.
Though some criticized the Goldenrod road closure as separating the wealthier, single-family neighborhood from the multifamily portion, Evangelista said people on both sides of the closed road benefited. “From resident feedback after the closure, it turned out to be a success,” she said.
Evangelista said she hopes to see similar success in Folkstone/Yarmouth, if it’s approved.
“This has been a consistent complaint since 2009, with residents concerned about traffic,” she said. “One of the reasons we’re here today talking about doing it is because we actually have the money funded. We have capital improvement funds to do it this year.”
Wellington has discussed the matter with Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, which are both on board with the plan, Evangelista said.
“We want to make Wellington a better and safer place,” she said.
Residents will have the opportunity to comment during a public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 8 at the Wellington Municipal Complex. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.