TRAFFIC - POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Traffic Proposals - Fall of 2021
Monroe County presentation at November 18, Village Council Meeting: Click Here
Everyone seems to be talking, and writing, about traffic problems in Islamorada and all of the Florida Keys. But where is the action? Is it just too late? The cat seems to be out of the bag—we live in a gorgeous island community with summer all year long! And TDC (Tourist Development Council) continues to spend tens of millions to attract more tourists (about $35 million this year, county-wide).
A 635 page draft U.S. 1 Transportation Master Plan, Monroe County was prepared for Monroe County Planning and Environmental Resources by transportation consultant, Aecom Technical Services, Inc, September 2021.
The lengthy report has extensive research, ideas, and recommendations for short term, mid-term and long term ideas to address transportation concerns along US 1.
One suggestion that seems totally impractical— 7.2.3 Upper Matecumbe Bridge
“A bypass bridge may be considered to reduce traffic congestion on US 1 in Upper Matecumbe between the Snake Creek Bridge and Tea Table Key. A potential bridge location is shown in Figure 7-3.” See page 93 of the master plan.
Florida Keys Transportation Coordination Committee was organized in 2019 and is made up of six representative, one from each municipality and one from the County Commission. The committee is to study and research traffic issues and create formal recommendations for the governing bodies of the five municipalities and the County Commission. Councilman Pete Bacheler is Islamorada’s representative, replacing Deb Gillis.
The committee met in September and passed a resolution making 11 proposals that the County will forward to the Florida Department of Transportation.
The only item specific to Islamorada:
In addition, Councilman Bacheler requested that FDOT install a low guard rail in front of Sea Oats Beach and additional signage at Anne’s Beach. Islamorada resident, Jill Zima-Borski, suggested that FDOT should be asked to eliminate the weigh station on Plantation Key and convert the property to a rest area.
Ideas/Solutions to help mitigate some of our traffic and congestion in Islamorada
1. Halt new development and focus on redevelopment
2. Install entrance/exit-turn lanes at congestion points on US1
3. Improve the Miami Dade Transit schedule and capacity to optimize for worker convenience and comfort. Perhaps it’s time for Monroe County to help underwrite these agreements with MDT. Some of this funding could come from the TDC budget. Covered bus stops would also make it more enjoyable for workers to ride the bus.
4. Create a new mass transit program for Tourists. “Keys Flyers” buses could be direct from MIA and FLL to Key West and make stops in all the major markets in route. The buses could be elevated like many tour buses that would allow tourist to enjoy a beautiful view while traveling to and through the Keys. Additional amenities could be offered like food, beverages, video and internet access. This service could be provided by a private contractor and underwritten by the TDC.
5. Rebuild the Snake Creek drawbridge to become a fixed bridge with Inter-coastal standards. This would eliminate bridge openings that create significant congestion and delays.
6. Place a toll at MM 124 for all non-residents. This might cut down on some of the day-tripper traffic.
7. Require all trucks and vehicles towing trailers to stay in right lane unless passing (California model), county wide -- or risk a citation.
8. Require school buses to exit US1 to pick up and drop off students. This also would eliminate significant congestion on our two-lane US1 segments during morning and afternoon rush hours.
Do you have an idea that you would like to submit to help with this issue? Please email us at info@Islamorada.org