PB: Roundabout Roundup

by SDM

Palmetto Bay’s village council met on Wednesday and received a report from staff regarding a proposed traffic circle (or roundabout) for the intersection of SW 136th Street and Old Cutler Road. SDM was very supportive of putting in the traffic circle because we just like them better, but then we received a fascinating comment that added to our enthusiasm. (Definitely click on the comment and watch the video.)

Apparently, roundabouts are well known to be good things because, among other benefits, they reduce fuel usage and automobile emissions while making intersections safer. SDM did not know that left turns at traffic lights are the most dangerous maneuvers and that traffic circles eliminate them. Makes sense when you think about it.

But you didn’t come to SDM to hear all the good stuff; we look at things closely here so we have some criticisms to level.

The Village Manager provided to the council a bunch of documents and other facts related to the traffic circle, but none of those documents are posted on the website or made part of the COW agenda. (He also provided a financial report that was likewise omitted from the agenda package.) When will our village staff understand that WE want to see these documents contemporaneously with the meeting? If you let the public view your little secrets Mr. Manager, maybe they would be less skeptical of your plans.

During public comments,┬áPeter England – a candidate for Mayor last time around – noted that SW 67th Avenue (Ludlam Road) was not part of the traffic circle plan. He noted that leaving Ludlam out was a dumb idea and SDM could not agree more. Then again, SDM has no way of knowing what is in the plan and what is out because the Manager keeps them in his pocket.

SDM Says: If you are going to install a major traffic solution at this crazy intersection, fix it all and do it once. Go to our Members of Congress and get them to donate part of the Department of Agriculture property to the project. (Doing so will increase the value of the federal property, SDM has no doubt.) Make the circle a landmark and immediately steal Mr. Tolbert’s excellent idea of installing both pine trees (for Pinecrest) and palmetto (for Palmetto Bay). Make the intersection pedestrian and bike friendly so that all the folks out exercising can safely navigate the area. Lastly, but probably most importantly, GET THE TRAFFIC MOVING on all the roads that intersect there.

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