The West Palm Beach City Commission unanimously approved the Mobility Plan Monday night despite the packed chamber with a majority objecting to the plan.
The city adopted the plan without addressing the concerns raised by many in West Palm and surrounding communities.
The mood and issues were outlined in an article in MyPalmBeachPost.com – West Palm green-lights all-options-open plan for transportation future. Highlights:
Palm Beach Mayor Weighs In
The mayor of Palm Beach, Gail Coniglio, joined those urging against provisions that call for dedicated bus or bike lanes, saying they would cause gridlock on Okeechobee Boulevard, the corridor town residents rely upon to enter and exit the island and to evacuate during hurricanes.
[Mayor] Coniglio, taking a more conciliatory tone, nonetheless said the plan’s impact would be “devastating.”
The town feared the combination of development, lane reductions and bike or bus lanes would gridlock east-west traffic on Okeechobee and the Royal Park Bridge, impeding emergency vehicles and hurricane evacuations.
“We are concerned that the safety of our residents, employees and visitors will be impaired as they attempt to travel the much more congested and dangerous driving condition if roadway capacity is reduced as a result of this mobility plan,” she said. “I hope that we can continue to work together and find viable options.”
An important point about the plan is that each individual project over the next 20 to 30 years will have to be approved by the West Palm City Commission before it is implemented. That gives those that oppose the plan, such as colosing car lanes on Okeechobee, another shot at stopping it before it goes forward.
WPTV-NBC5 Overview (before the vote) [2:02]