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Brainstorming The Future Of Transport Around Las Olas Boulevard

Las Olas Fort Lauderdale
Wally Gobetz via Flickr
Multiple studies on walkability and traffic safety have been conducted since 2000. Rideshare zones, bike lanes and widened sidewalks haven't seemed to slow complaints about congestion.

Pedestrians and cars continue to battle for space along Fort Lauderdale’s popular Las Olas Boulevard. 

After years of traffic and safety studies, Ft. Lauderdale Commissioner Steve Glassman and Vice Mayor Ben Sorensen hosted a workshop Wednesday afternoon that explored plans for the street. City staff showed pictures of raised and painted intersections, more shade trees, and a plaza on top of the Henry Kinney Tunnel.

Sorensen said the community should be involved. 

“Some folks today mentioned safety was a big concern, and so let’s shape [Las Olas] based off the primary function of what we want our street to be,” he said. 

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Residents like April Kirk said the area -- less than three miles long -- sends a confusing message to tourists, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

“There’s no consistency,” she said. “You start at A1A, so the beach, to [residential], to one type of retail, to a differnet type of retail and dining, to what they call the Financial District, to museums and education. Imagine being a tourist trying to walk that."

Commissioners are looking to start a working advisory group for residents to make suggestions, similar to one formed for 17th Street’s reworking. 

Glassman said he hopes the new group will represent a diverse mix of people using Las Olas. “Whether it’s commercial, retail, residential,” Glassman said. 

In addition, Glassman and Sorensen hope to hire an outside traffic design team for the project. They plan to bring the proposal to the full commission for approval in the near future. 

Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, currently leads the WLRN Newsroom as Interim Managing Editor. Prior to transitioning to leadership from production, Caitie reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News for four years.