April 2018 – The Las Olas Boulevard Six-month Safety Improvements Demonstration Project is part of an overall Community Investment Plan that includes safety and traffic calming improvements within the Colee Hammock neighborhood, and additional safety and traffic flow improvements along S.E. 15th Avenue. The goal of the Las Olas Boulevard Demonstration Project is to create a safer connection for everyone traveling on the Boulevard, regardless of travel mode, while balancing the needs of our neighbors, business owners, and guests.
The Las Olas Boulevard projects demonstrate opportunities to increase safety for all users while connecting Las Olas Boulevard to Fort Lauderdale Beach. The traffic safety principles of Vision Zero informed the design of the Las Olas Boulevard project and were implemented with national and local engineering standards and best practices.
How is the new roadway safer for all users of Las Olas Boulevard, including those who drive, share a ride, people walking, people biking and people making deliveries?
For those who drive
- Travel speeds are lower along the corridor reducing the chance of severe crashes and fatalities on the roadway.
- The demonstration project also allows people driving to move efficiently by allocating different areas for all the users that previously shared the asphalt space, like people making deliveries, people dropping off or picking up passengers or goods, and people that bike at slower speed.
For those who walk
- The reduced travel speed on the corridor will reduce the chance of severe crashes and fatalities.
- The crosswalks at the S.E. 13th Avenue and S.E. 15th Avenue intersections feature reduced crossing distance for those walking, and an advance stop bar on both sides of the intersection to provide greater pedestrian visibility for those driving, complementing the ladder crosswalk marking (high-visibility). The crosswalk at S.E. 13th Avenue has existing pedestrian-actuated in-roadway flashing lights.
For those who bike
- A designated bike lane is provided to people who are interested in biking but are concerned with biking with moving vehicles. A bike box was also installed at the traffic signal on S.E. 15th Avenue, gives people riding bikes a safe and visible way to get ahead of vehicles at the intersection during the red light phase. Read the “Get Behind It” brochure to learn how to use a bike box.
- The new bike lanes provide a safer, low-stress biking experience by providing protection from moving vehicles with physical elements such as rubber curbs, delineators, and parked cars. Cities in other parts of the country that have installed protected bike lanes noticed a reduction in crashes compared to conventional bike lanes, or those without a physical separation.
For those sharing a ride and making deliveries
- Designated rideshare zones on Las Olas Boulevard offer safer areas for drivers to pull in and drop off passengers. The zones also provide a safer waiting area on the sidewalk. This initiative intends to discourage unsafe practices such as double parking or stopping in the travel lane to pick up or drop off passengers.
- Designated loading/unloading areas on the side streets.
For business owners
- Bike infrastructure increases the number of people biking, which increases retail sales. Cities that have installed protected bike lanes saw an increase in retail sales when compared to similar corridors without bike lanes. (Source: NYDOT, Protected Bicycle lanes in NYC, September 2014.)
What will happen at the end of the six-month demonstration period?
At the conclusion of the safety improvements demonstration project, an evaluation report along with recommendations for next steps will be presented to the City Commission this summer for consideration. (Estimated July 2018)