Published On: Sun, Jun 16th, 2019

Planning for Transportation Needs of Residents Requires a Fresh Planning Perspective

By Robert S Weinroth

The Palm Beach Country Transportation Planning Agency is responsible for planning improvements to our transportation infrastructure. Not too many years ago, the focus was almost entirely on adding lane miles to our major arterials and the interstate highway system to facilitate the movement of more vehicles. 

Lately, however, a fresh perspective has been taken on roadway improvements looking beyond vehicular traffic. This approach has been named, “Complete Streets.” Coupled with the complete streets philosophy is “Vision Zero.”

Vision Zero is an internationally renowned road safety project whose mission is to create a road system that will eliminate fatalities and serious injuries. Florida is currently the most dangerous state in the nation for pedestrians.

Here are some sobering statistics. Pedestrian deaths in the US have increased over 35 percent in the past 10 years with over 5,400 pedestrian fatalities. The Vision Zero approach has been adopted in 34 cities in the United States and involves a wide variety of methodologies to reduce the troubling statistics our roads produce today.

Vision Zero Palm Beach County is a collaborative effort between internal and external community stakeholders. The plan is connecting the resources and expertise of each department to advance our shared goal to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries on our streets.

The plan is to find new ways to improve street safety, to pin-point problematic locations, and to hammer out site-specific solutions that match realities on the ground.

Complete Streets is one approach to improved pedestrian safety.

Complete Streets is a nationally recognized term referring to roadways designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.

The Palm Beach TPA aims to achieve a safe and convenient transportation network by implementing Complete Streets within the context of our county’s diverse communities.

The Palm Beach TPA seeks to promote Complete Streets by prioritizing the funding of Complete Streets infrastructure projects, providing educational opportunities, and encouraging municipalities to adopt and implement local Complete Streets policies.

Streets are a vital part of livable, attractive communities. Everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, race, or ethnicity, ought to have safe, comfortable, and convenient access to community destinations and public places–whether walking, driving, bicycling, or taking public transportation. But too many of our streets are designed only for speeding cars or creeping traffic jams.

A Complete Streets approach integrates people and place in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of our transportation networks. This helps to ensure streets are safe for people of all ages and abilities, balance the needs of different modes, and support local land uses, economies, cultures, and natural environments.

The National Complete Streets Coalition, which launched this movement in 2004, promotes the development and implementation of Complete Streets policies and professional practices. To date, over 1325 agencies at the local, regional, and state levels have adopted Complete Streets policies, totaling more than 1400 policies nationwide.

To learn more about this work to make our streets less dangerous, go to:             https://smartgrowthamerica.org/tag/complete-streets-basic-resources/

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. As a newly elected County Commissioner, Weinroth has been appointed Vice-Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

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