[Email] Article in the Pelican regarding the SW 10th St Project

Lu Vencl lfv at pobox.com
Sun Oct 20 06:43:29 CDT 2019

Friday, October 18, 2019 www.pelicannewspaper.com

PagesLo.pdf  on Page 9.

SW 10 Street protest halts hearing, sends FDOT back to drawing board

By Judy Wilson - jwilson at newpelican.com <mailto:jwilson at newpelican.com> 

Deerfield Beach - A widely advertised public hearing on the future of SW 10
Street was postponed this week after Mayor Bill Ganz urged the Metropolitan
Planning Organization to slow down the process. 

Florida Department of Transportation [FDOT] engineers and designers had been
prepared to show a preferred alternative Tuesday, Oct. 28 for the SW 10
Street connection with I-95 and the Sawgrass Expressway. Locally, attendance
at that meeting was being urged by elected officials and business leaders as
the last chance to comment on the design. 

Then, last Thursday, the MPO Board asked FDOT to postpone any further public
meetings until it can produce its renderings, including a 3-D model, for the
board's review. 

Their action followed an "ask" by Vice Mayor Todd Drosky and a presentation
by Ganz strongly disagreeing with the design that was to be shown at the
"final" public hearing. 

"What's my "ask?" Drosky said. "Tell FDOT to go back and study all
alternatives. And, I've been asking for a 3-D model so residents can see
what's outside their front doors. All we have now are flat maps." Easing
traffic congestion on SW 10 Street has been studied by community leaders,
residents, the MPO and FDOT for the last four years. After a series of
designs were presented starting in 2015, FDOT has come up with a plan that
combines managed [fast] lanes and local lanes. 

But Ganz said the latest design is far from what a citizen's committee
[COAT] presented. " We thought we were getting a fast lane with no lights
and a local road. What we now have is something entirely different. It's
over engineered. They went too far. It's nothing like we started with." He
showed the board renderings of the project from 2016 which showed depressed
local lanes, parklike spaces and a managed, fast lane. It was similar to
what the COAT adopted. 

Ganz's concerns now are with the exit and entrance points on the fast lanes
for semi trucks which are being forced onto the local, 35 - mph road at I-95
and again at the Sawgrass. "Our vision is that there would be no semis on
our local roads," Ganz said. A member of the MPO Board, Ganz came to the
meeting with a slide show prepared by city staff. During his remarks he
questioned why FDOT advertised Oct 29 as a final hearing when it was still
scheduling meetings with homeowner groups, "It looks like they set a meeting
and are now rushing to get their ducks in a row," the mayor said. "We are
asking they go back to the drawing board and be creative. 

This is a chance to get this right." MPO Deputy Vice Chair Patrica Good
said, "I am troubled by this disconnect [between COAT and FDOT]."We've gone
from the COAT [design] to concrete , , , my preference is to move the
project out a year." Drosky, who has been a bird dog on the SW 10 Street
expansion from its beginning - before being elected - said of the mayor's
remarks, "FDOT got a very clear message. He knocked it out of the park. It's
back to the drawing board." During public comments, Hillsboro Beach
Commissioner Andy Brown spoke in support of Deerfield's position. "You
should by no means push large truck to lanes used by cyclists," he said.
"You need to harmonize with the neighborhood." No new date has been set for
the public hearing according to Project Manager Robert Bostian. 

Stakeholders at Newport Center, which borders I-95, did meet with FDOT
designers Wednesday afternoon to discuss alternatives for the intersection
of Newport Center Drive and SW 10 Street. Engineers have come up with an
alternative for the intersection which removes the left turn from Newport
Center Drive and SW 12 Avenue which reduces signal phases at the
intersection, "This proposed change moves traffic much more efficiently and
reduces delay time," Bostian said.


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