The Indian Trail Improvement District has been working with Palm Beach County to improve Coconut Blvd., Orange Blvd., 60th Street North and Royal Palm Beach Blvd. in a manner that will not make those roads throughways for pass-through traffic in lieu of delays in the completion of the State Road 7 connection from 60th Street to Northlake Blvd.
The district wants to limit the number of lanes to three landscaped lanes with multimodal paths on those roads rather than five vehicle lanes, which will not likely be neighborhood friendly, that the county has planned.
ITID President Betty Argue said a recent meeting on mobility plans for the district in which district consultant Kim DeLaney with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning County and Palm Beach County Engineer David Ricks participated attests to the level of cooperation.
“The county has an 80-foot right of way on Royal Palm Beach Blvd., Orange Blvd. and Coconut Blvd., and in the past year, they have expedited the five-laning of those roads,” Argue told the Town-Crier. “As part of our mobility planning, the impact is essentially safety first. These are roads that have driveways on them that serve our residents. We have children who ride their bikes to school, we have pedestrians, we have parents walking their children with strollers, we have equestrians.”
She said five-laning those roads would not leave space to incorporate sidewalks and landscaping to enhance the neighborhood.
“We came up with some suggestions, such as bio-swales, which can provide a buffer for those properties along there, but also collect and clean the water,” Argue said. “It would be landscaped, which would provide a dual purpose of providing a buffer for those properties along there. There’s multiple benefits to that.”
Argue said that there is not a lot that the district can do to change the county’s plans for five-laning Royal Palm Beach Blvd. north of 60th Street North because it is already designed.
“Basically, it would be a continuation of the five lanes that are farther south,” she said. “What we’re looking for are some concessions from the county in terms of designing a better road section, a safer road section that would be more appealing than a major thoroughfare through our neighborhoods, even though they are county roads.”
Argue said she appreciates Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, Ricks and other county staff working with ITID to mitigate the impact of increasing traffic as the county’s population increases.
“They have met with us, Melissa McKinlay definitely supports our proposal… specifically as it relates to Coconut and Royal Palm,” she said. “The board hasn’t adopted anything, but these are recommendations that are coming from workshops with residents and with the board and staff.”
Argue said she is trying to protect the property values and safety of residents who live along those roads.
“I am opposed to designing a road that is going to carry traffic in lieu of the connection from 60th to Northlake,” she said. “I have been very vocal about that.”