Wellington Board Supports Bicycle, Multimodal Pathway Plan

The Wellington Municipal Complex.

Wellington’s Planning, Zoning & Adjustment Board recommended approval Wednesday, Jan. 12 of an ordinance amending the mobility element of the village’s comprehensive plan, updating the pedestrian pathway map, bicycle lanes map and adding a multi-modal pathways map.

Assistant Planning, Zoning & Building Director Michael O’Dell said the original map was adopted in 2015.

“Prior to that, we had been working with the village and the Acme Improvement District on various plan approvals in keeping up with our overall recreational programs associated with pedestrian pathways,” O’Dell said. “Since 2015, we’ve actually engaged in a program where we seek to improve pathways, bicycle lanes, and now we are also seeking pathway improvements for golf carts.”

A golf cart ordinance was adopted this past year and goes into effect on March 28.

“Tonight, before you is a request… to modify the maps located within the mobility element of the comprehensive plan, which is to fix the pedestrian pathways across the network, the multimodal pathway network and the bicycle lanes,” O’Dell said.

He explained that the program is reviewed every five years.

“We’re looking now from 2022 to 2026,” he said. “We have roughly nine miles of bicycle lanes that we will be constructing, 3.8 miles of multimodal pathways, some additional ‘share the road’ signs and some crosswalks that we’ve been working on, as well as some bench, seating and covered areas.”

O’Dell said the village has budgeted about $9.2 million for the projects, of which $3.8 million in grant funding has been obtained through the Transportation Planning Agency. “We will be seeking additional dollars,” he said.

Four projects have been funded through the TPA. Two are multimodal pathway projects. One is on the C-2 Canal adjacent to Binks Forest Drive, and the other is along the C-8 Canal on Stribling Way just east of the power lines. The two bicycle lane projects are along Greenview Shores Blvd. from Wellington Trace to Binks Forest Drive, and another along Greenbriar Blvd. from Greenview Shores Blvd. to Aero Club Drive.

O’Dell explained that the projects will complete a 6.4-mile loop of bicycle pathways and will connect to an existing 7-mile multipurpose pathway system that was built along Aero Club Drive, Binks Forest Drive and Flying Cow Road. “Those are the main pieces of the next five years,” he said. “In addition to that, we’ll be adding some shoulder widening on Aero Club Drive. That work will begin this year.”

Wellington Trace and Stribling Way are also proposed for shoulder widening.

Share the Road signs will be looked at for Ousley Farms Road, Paddock Drive, Binks Forest Drive and Pierson Road, as well as striping improvements and shelters and benches.

O’Dell added that future projects will include implementation of improvements related to the golf cart ordinance. He said that the Wellington Village Council has also given direction to continue looking at widening pathways from 8 feet to 10 feet and 12 feet where possible.

“We’ll continue to seek to improve our pathway projects, as well as our roadways,” he said, adding that three multimodal pathway bridges are proposed similar to an existing one that crosses the C-1 Canal at Binks Forest Drive leading to Flying Cow Road.

“This is our first bridge that we put in for a pathway system that we did about four years ago, so we have planned a program to do three more of them,” O’Dell said. “One will be on the C-8 Canal, which is near Palm Beach Little Ranches, and then two down on Flying Cow Road, one at the C-23 Canal at the west corner of Palm Beach Point, and then one about midway of Palm Beach Point.”

He said the updates to the circulation plan reflect the improvements and priorities intended to enhance bicycle safety, travel and expand on multimodal pathways that will aid residents on their travel experiences throughout the village.

PZA Board Member Salvatore Van Casteren made a motion to recommend approval of the ordinance, which carried unanimously.