What traffic engineers hath wrought could soon be undone...
Confirming that the recently revised traffic pattern at Hillsboro Commons plaza and Southeast 12th Avenue isn’t working as envisioned, Deerfield Beach commissioners voted May 14 to conduct a study leading to a possible undoing what traffic engineers have wrought -- and possibly restoring the left turn coming out of the Publix parking lot.
“I lived here before the revisions. I have lived here since and I think it’s a disaster,” District 1 Commissioner Joe Miller said, prior to the vote. “If you exit east of Publix, you have to turn south and go through the neighborhood and out on 15th or, you have to make a u-turn. Functionally it is a total drag and I deal with it on a daily basis.”
Miller is not alone. As part of the beautification of the Cove-area neighborhood, traffic engineers in 2009 revamped the area around the east side of Publix, and eliminated the two-way traffic pattern. In retrospect, however, “residents requested that the median be redesigned such that traffic exiting the plaza is allowed to take a left turn on to SE [stet] 12th Avenue to directly access Hillsboro Boulevard...” CRA Director Kris Mory noted her her memo to the board.
As it is now, drivers exiting the east side of Publix have no option but to head south on Southeast 12th Avenue until they can make a u-turn, or worse.
“The turn you make is illegal – and I’m not saying I make that turn,” said District 2 Commissioner Ben Preston, inspiring laughter.
With that, the commission voted to spend $8,290 sending engineers from Chen Moore Associates back to the drawing board to, in the words of Preston, “alleviate the strain in that area.”
That won’t be an easy task. As Mory noted, the alignment of the alley and Southeast 12th Avenue make it difficult to design a safe solution that takes into account things like sight triangles, lines of traffic waiting to turn, and lanes. Moreover, the busineses along that alley may have something to say about the change. “If there is substantial support,” she said, “the CRA will request a change order from MBR Construction for the improvement.”
Leading to more construction – or possibly deconstruction.