ROADS – State, County and ITID
We now have zero say on the completion of State Road 7, since it is a State road. It is currently being legally challenged by the City of West Palm Beach and defended by FDOT. However, this is an issue that directly impacts our community. The traffic is currently cutting through our community via 60th Street to Royal Palm Beach Blvd./Orange Blvd. to Coconut. This is not a sustainable alternative to the connection of SR7 to Northlake.
By becoming a municipality, we will have the opportunity to lobby for a seat on the Palm Beach County TPA (Transportation Planning Authority) which directs where the funds are spent on the State and County roads in Palm Beach County. The TPA is currently controlled by the large municipalities in Palm Beach County. Our community deserves to have a seat at the table to help direct where the funds are being spent on road and mobility improvements. These are our tax dollars that historically are not being directed to our community. This is part of the reason for delays in county road improvements in our area.
Further, the Village of Loxahatchee, as part of the Comprehensive Plan statutory requirement, will have to adopt their own road map. This will reflect the existing county roads, which are: Seminole Pratt Whitney Road, Northlake Blvd., Coconut Blvd. (north of Orange to Northlake), 60th Street, Royal Palm Beach Blvd. and Orange Blvd. (East of Seminole Pratt Whitney Road). Unlike ITID, the Village will have Home Rule Authority to control the speed limits, stop signs, and traffic lights within our City. This is important for the safety of our residents within our community and to allow proper planning and advocacy for road improvements.
Will we have more control over our interior roads as a city?
Yes, the municipality would have “police power” to add stop signs and change speed limits. Our local roads are streets with driveways on them. We have sidewalks for pedestrians, runners, bike riders and equestrian trails. We need safe mobility for all and not just vehicles. The County’s goal is simply to move traffic while ignoring the needs of our neighborhoods.
Our area’s traffic fatalities per capita are outpacing the county’s by a large margin. Our roads were designed to serve our neighborhood traffic and not surrounding developments. The County’s plan is to force more traffic on our roads rather than invest in improvements on the County road network.
Our community will be better served by local residents making decisions about how to mitigate traffic on our local roads, working with the County and State on needed improvements, having a seat at the table for the Palm Beach County Transportation Planning Authority and implementing a Safe Streets vision for our community.
If we become a municipality would we have anymore say on road development (especially connecting SPW to beeline)?
The regional County, State and Federal roads in Palm Beach County are governed by the state created Metropolitan Planning Organization now called the Palm Beach TPA. Federal and State funds are managed and designated through the TPA. Projects such as the SR7 are part of the Long Range Thoroughfare Plan. Membership on the TPA can be found here. As a municipality, we could be eligible for a seat on the TPA with a population of 50,000+ and it would have to be approved by the TPA and State and an interlocal agreement entered into. Through having a seat, we would have a voice and a vote in the planning that affects our area for the regional road network. Even without, we would be recognized as having an interest and have more influence than we do currently.
SR7 is a State Road and the connection to Northlake is currently subject to legal challenges from the City of West Palm Beach.
Will all our ITID roads be paved if we became a municipality?
No they will not. It is very expensive to pave all the roads. However, the town council could choose to pave certain roads that have become uneconomical to maintain as dirt roads, just as the District grapples with these issues. The municipality could choose to continue milling roads or do a combination of milling and paving. The difference is that special districts do not receive gas taxes to help offset the costs of road maintenance or improvements.
If we incorporate is Palm beach county or our new town responsible for the sidewalk maintenance?
The municipality would be responsible for the sidewalks within the boundaries of the City except for on the County roadways. In this case, it would require an interlocal agreement, if the municipality were to take on the responsibility of maintaining county infrastructure.