LISTEN: West Palm Beach Mayor Says City Is Working On Traffic Changes

The city of West Palm Beach may soon be making some changes when it comes to transportation.  

Mayor Jeri Muoio says she's aware of the complaints from residents and people driving into the city about the traffic.

"We have commissioned a mobility study which is going to look at how we move people and cars around our city.  We'll be looking at things like mass transit, can we expand our trolley routes?  Do we need to reassign some of the intersections?"

Muoio shared more details with us about a letter she wrote to city residents and business owners.  The mayor says that one of the biggest concerns is rush hour traffic.

"88 percent of the time Okeechobee Boulevard is fine.  Between 7:30 and 9 in the morning, it's pretty congested and between 5 and 6:30 at night, it's pretty congested, so we need to look at are there some other ways we can get people in and out of our city during those times?"

Muoio shared one idea.

"If we had an express (bus) from say 441 into our downtown, they could hop on, they'd have wifi, have an express lane...get you here in 15 minutes...and you don't have to pay for parking or anything like that..."

The mayor is waiting for recommendations from the mobility study, before taking any major actions.  Those should be available by the early part of summer.Immediate steps to ease downtown congestion are being taken, like expanding trolley routes, increasing opportunities for bicycling and optimizing the timing of traffic signals.  

The city is taking its first step in its attempts to fix the traffic troubles downtown, by poutting up signs at busy intersections that will warn drivers quote "Don't Block the Box".  It's a reminder that drivers face 166 dollar fines if they block intersections or crosswalks as written in state law.  Drivers are not allowed to enter an intersection if they can't make it all the way across without blocking traffic.

The mayor says she envisions a future where travel is more efficient, sustainable, safe and comfortable.

Image: City of West Palm Beach

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