Downtown Mobility Masterplan is out – here’s how it will affect you.

Downtown Mobility Masterplan is out – here’s how it will affect you.

At the Mayor / Commission Work Session on April 30th a presentation made by cities expert Gabe Klein outlined why Downtown West Palm Beach needs a Mobility Plan and detailed the work that the Alta Planning team had done over the last year. Mr. Klein’s presentation is the first hour and is a very interesting watch.

Last night the team at Alta Planning team uploaded the epic 123-page Downtown West Palm Beach Mobility Plan to their website. Click here to view it.

This plan is accompanied by a West Palm Beach Parking Study & Bicycle Master Plan. There is a LOT of reading to do.

“The Downtown West Palm Beach Mobility Plan provides the lens through which future transportation projects should be prioritized and implemented. Going forward, does the transportation network—including physical infrastructure and transportation services— meet the needs of those that live, work, and visit here? Additionally, do they support the anticipated growth, both regionally and locally, while also preserving the quality of life and human dimension of Downtown that makes it unique, accessible, and diverse?

“The Mobility Plan establishes a shared community vision for how people travel that is built on shared, desired outcomes. To realize the vision, the plan outlines specific actions organized into short-, medium-, and long-term stepping stones that will guide the community towards achieving the type of city West Palm Beach wants to be.”

Key recommended projects, programs and policies include:

  • Okeechobee corridor projects such as intersection improvements, improved lighting, mobility/transit hub, improved signal timing, dedicated rapid bus transit lanes, expansion of trolley routes.
  • Added multimodal access including vehicular capacity by providing a Fern Street connection across the SFRTA tracks from Australian Avenue to Flagler Drive.
  • Expansion of bicycle network to safely connect neighborhoods and people to jobs, schools, parks, businesses and the downtown.
  • Incorporation of transportation demand management strategies as a part of future land use planning in order to mitigate future congestion and encourage alternative modes of transportation such as walking, biking, and trolley riding.
  • Restructuring parking strategies to reduce congestion, increase availability and improve overall user experience.
  • Incorporation of new technologies (i.e. autonomous rideshare).
  • Optimization and expansion of trolley and bus services and routes.
  • Adoption and implementation of Vision Zero, a  strategy to eliminate traffic fatalities and sever injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.

Why Walking Matters

Walkability is the foundation of a thriving, competitive Downtown. Commerce and public life take shape and flourish in response to a walkable urban fabric. Walkable streets are inviting places, safe places, accessible places, and comfortable places. Residents and visitors can linger, stroll, and they have direct connections that move them to where they want to go. For Downtown West Palm Beach, this means people can easily and safely cross at intersections and mid-block locations, walk on a shaded, well-connected sidewalk, and enjoy the sidewalk as an extension of public space

Why Bicycling Matters

Bicycling can be a safe, comfortable, and convenient mode of travel, especially in a Downtown setting. A well-connected bikeway network can encourage a mode shift from car to bike, reducing vehicles miles traveled while also providing tangible environment, safety, and health and wellness benefits. Creating a bicyclefriendly environment is also an important part of regional mobility. Establishing first- and last-mile connections to transit via bikeways, especially in areas where access to a personal vehicle is limited, will create mobility options and expand access.

Why Transit Matters

Investing in transit services and amenities allows a downtown, city, and region to grow without compounding vehicular traffic congestion by serving more people in less space. It also provides an affordable transportation option that is accessible to a wide range of ages and abilities.

Why Street Changes Matter

The roadway network is the fundamental framework for moving people through the City. It is the conduit and connector to destinations including jobs, services, shopping, and other cultural activities. Changes to the street network can improve safety for everyone, and improve the predictability and reliability of traveling in Downtown

And much, more

In it’s pages the DWPBMP specifically targets 46 different projects which will move Downtown West Palm Beach towards the above stated goals.

The plans go from creating a new platform at the Brightline Station for the Tri-Rail Coastal Link ($2.5 million) to a new street connecting Fern and Australian ($10 million) to lane reconfiguration of Okeechobee Blvd and one-way to two-way street conversion for Olive and Dixie ($24 milllion). And rejoice, reconfiguration & lane removals of S. Flagler Drive is also in there ($4.6 million).

Budget details over the next 20 years.

Moving forward

“The Downtown West Palm Beach Mobility Plan provides the lens through which future transportation projects—including physical infrastructure and transportation services– should be prioritized and implemented,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “We must always prioritize a transportation network that meets and exceeds the needs of those who live, work and visit here. We must continue to evaluate whether projects support anticipated regional and local growth while also promoting business and preserving the quality of life and human dimension of downtown that make it unique, accessible and diverse.”

The Mobility Plan recommendations will be brought to the City Commission at the May 21st commission meeting for formal adoption.

Another 5 Charities to Give to during today’s Great Give! #GreatGive424

Another 5 Charities to Give to during today’s Great Give! #GreatGive424

So I had so much fun putting together my first set of local charities to give to, I’m putting together another set.

Reminder: Great Give Palm Beach & Martin Counties is a 24-hour online giving event designed to raise as much money as possible for hundreds of local nonprofits in a single day. This exciting community-wide event celebrates the spirit of giving and the collective effort it takes to strengthen our local nonprofits and better serve those in need – from children and seniors to the environment and animals!

Every online gift made during the 24-hour period will be amplified by additional dollars from a bonus pool raised by United Way of Palm Beach County. Your gift to the Bonus Pool will help every participating nonprofit- Visit the Bonus Pool page to GIVE NOW!

As of 12pm, 2,688 Great Give donors have given $705,893.21 to 360 Charities!!!

Here are 5 more local charities to give to (and a few bonuses).

1. Jack The Bike Man, Inc.

Putting a smile on a child’s face one bike at a time

  • $20 Helmet for child
  • $50 Bicycle for a youth
  • $100 Would help an adult to earn a bicycle

Jack the Bike Man is a not for profit organization founded by Samuel H. “Jack” Hairston III in 2007, however Jack has been called Jack the Bike Man, since 1999. Throughout the year, Jack the Bike Man gives away thousands of bikes to underprivileged kids, the homeless, women reentering society from prison, recovering addicts in halfway houses and people living below the poverty line. For more than 20 years, Jack the Bike Man has fixed bikes and handed them out to needy children and adults in the area, especially around the holidays. All of this is made possible with the help of volunteers and contributions.

We benefit the community by providing free bicycles and helmets to children and adults in need of transportation through various programs, including an after-school program that teaches bike safety, bike repair and bike maintenance. We repair bicycles at our warehouse, which contains more than a dozen repair stations and thousands of bicycle parts, and provide community service hours to students and adults who learn basic bicycle mechanics. We also promote environmental sustainability by keeping used bikes out of the landfill, repairing them, using parts for other bikes and recycling those bikes that are unusable.

The community’s need for bicycles is never-ending, as is the organization’s need for funding, volunteers and used bikes that technicians can overhaul. The popularity of the organization has grown, and with it, the costs. Jack the Bike Man drives all over the county collecting bikes or donations of parts. We could use your help: Contributions of money, time, and bikes are needed to keep Jack the Bike Man rolling.

As appeared on The Palm Beach Post – Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

Donate Now Get more info

2. CROS Ministries

CROS Ministries has provided food and essential services to the most vulnerable in South Florida for 40 years. Its mission is to serve the hungry in Palm Beach and Martin Counties through community collaborations. Whether distributing food at our food pantries, serving a hot meal through the Caring Kitchen, offering a safe summer camp experience with lunch, a snack, and breakfast as needed, or just lending a listening ear, the organization is serving the hungry. Programs include seven community food pantries, a hot meal program; summer camp for children from families with low incomes, a weekend food program for children attending select Title I Schools, and gleaning, a food recovery program. All services are provided without regard to race, religion, national origin, marital status, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or age.

Donate Now Get more info

3. Best Buddies International

Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant international organization that has grown from one original chapter at Georgetown University to more than 2,300 chapters worldwide, positively impacting the lives of over 1.1 million people with and without IDD. Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States, and in over 50 countries around the world.

We are the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

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4. Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society

As Palm Beach County’s only top-rated Zoological experience, we are home to over 550 animals, many of them endangered. Our mission is to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife and the natural world.

Our unique tropical zoo showcases an animal collection (Malayan tigers, jaguars, Mexican spider monkeys, panther) from around the world, living in natural habitats. Enjoy shady paths, a colorful carousel, an interactive water play fountain, a full-service restaurant, and 11 daily shows and keeper talks where you can watch animal trainings, feedings and meet zookeepers. Book a behind-the-scenes animal experience and get up close and personal with a sloth, koalas, capybaras, anteaters, Aldabra tortoises or mingle with flamingos.

  • $25 Host a Veteran at the Zoo.
  • $50 Feed two of our critically endangered Malayan Tigers.
  • $75 For our Florida Panther, Sassy, whose mother was killed by a car.
  • $100 Support Lewis & Clark, black bears who were orphaned as cubs.
  • $250 Aupport an animal physical for one of our animals.

There’s always something new at Palm Beach Zoo! Enjoy over 60 WILD events annually such as Safari Nights, Food Truck Safari, Boo at the Zoo, Breakfast with Santa, and Noon Year’s Eve.

Annual Zoo memberships are a great value and provide free admission year-round. We are open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, and parking is always FREE!

Give Now Get more info

5. Friends of Palm Beach

In May 2013, Diane Buhler, an avid scuba diver and environmentalist, started a Solid Waste Authority Adopt-a-Spot program of year-round, monthly beach clean ups to collect incoming trash off Palm Beach’s coastline. Local schools, universities and residents attend these continuing events.

Friends of Palm Beach’s crew consists of clients of The Lord’s Place, a homeless advocacy group, and Vita Nova, which assists young adults coming out of the foster care system transition to independence. These individuals work hard to gain their independence. To date, 21 individuals have gone through FPB’s transitional work program.

Friends of Palm Beach is working from a shoe string budget, providing their services all along the Palm Beach coastline from the Palm Beach Inlet to Sloan’s Curve on a regular basis with limited donors.

To date, Friends of Palm Beach has removed just over 80,1000 pounds of trash and unnatural debris from the beaches, this includes monthly and weekday cleans. In 2017 alone, Friends of Palm Beach removed over 30,000 pounds of trash and unnatural debris from our coastline. The majority is innocuous plastics that fit in trash bags, at times there are large items that wash ashore and present a safety hazard if left there. More and more medical waste is washing ashore and our method removes it and disposes of it properly to the Fire Department.

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Bonus: Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast, Inc.

Header picture is Junior Achievement gathering donations at Subculture Coffee at Great Give 2016

The mission of Junior Achievement is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Junior Achievement is dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. Junior Achievement’s programs focus on financial literacy, work readiness, entrepreneurship and seeks to ignite the spark in young people to recognize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century.

Since 1981, Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast has inspired the next generation to be financially capable and tenacious, equipped with the tools to solve problems creatively, manage risk effectively, and welcome opportunity. Through our innovative and experiential financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurial K-12 programming- taught by volunteer role models from the community; we inspire the next generation to navigate their path towards their dreams.

We empower youth with authentic, relevant real-world experiences, challenging them to envision what’s possible if they work hard and dream big. We do it through our proven, experiential financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship programs taught by JA Hero role models, and with the help of an unparalleled network of educators, volunteers, and partners. Junior Achievement has been promoting business education since 1919, first through an after-school secondary program: the JA Company Program®, and later through in-school partnerships with educators. Our programs now reach far beyond traditional business lessons and focus on inspiring students to be financially capable and tenacious, equipped with the tools to solve problems creatively, manage risk effectively, and welcome opportunity. Without our region’s educators, our work to take learning beyond the classroom and show students its relevance would be impossible.

$56 – JA Programming provided to one student
$250 – JA programming provided to an entire classroom
$1,000 – JA BizTown provided to 50 students
$2,000 – JA programming provided to an entire grade level.

Give Now Get more info

Bonus #2: Path to College

Path to College has taken on the mission of securing the acceptance of as many bright and motivated, low-income students as possible into the college’s of their dreams.

We will uplift the academic aspirations of these students by:

  • Surrounding them in a fellowship of academically motivated peers
  • Connecting them with community members who will support their dreams. Each student is matched with a one-on-one mentor who is committed to supporting their academic success.
  • Providing targeted SAT tutoring.
  • Offering Career exploration, exposure, and job preparation through professional speakers, field trips and hands-on work shops.
  • Molding our students into leaders by a commitment to education and service. Our students serve as tutors to struggling elementary students, as well as design and implement their own community service project as a send off from our program.
  • Our model is a targeted and comprehensive way to develop our students into the types of applicants colleges are eager to accept.

Please help us provide a high-quality, long-term academic experience for these students so that their most audacious dreams do not go unrealized. We ask you to help us UNLEASH the GENIUS in our neighborhoods because a mind uncultivated is like silver in the mine. We need to come together to cultivate this much-need resource- the higher learning success of our children- for the long-term benefit and advancement of our communities.

  • $50 – Your donation provides enrichment materials
  • $100 – Your donation provides 4 hours of expert SAT tutoring.
  • $500 – Your donation supports one year of mentoring services.
  • $1,500 – Your donation provides a year of our comprehensive program
Give Now Get more info

Puppy Bonus: Destiny for Dogs

Destiny for Dogs is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Florida Dog Rescue Organization dedicated to assisting senior citizens in keeping their beloved dogs in their homes. Destiny assists “qualified” seniors with dog food, monthly heartworm/flea preventative, annual wellness visit to our veterinarian, plus the rehoming of their beloved dogs if necessary. Destiny for Dogs is a non-breed specific, small, foster-based, no-kill rescue and is active in rescuing dogs from shelters, owners, or families who can no longer care for their deceased family members’ dog. Our goal is to find loving forever homes for rescue dogs regardless of age, health, or corrective behavioral issues. All Destiny’s dogs are fully vetted, sterilized, up to date on shots, microchipped, receive a wellness check by our personal vet prior to being placed in a foster home. Once in foster, he or she will be evaluated, loved and nutured to prepare them for a second chance to live the “Happily Ever After” life that they so deserve. Plus, provide love and joy to their new family.

Give Now Get more info
5 Local Charities to Help during the Great Give Today #GreatGive424

5 Local Charities to Help during the Great Give Today #GreatGive424

Today, April 24th, is the Great Give of Palm Beach and Martin Counties. 24 hours where charities work together to raise as much money as possible.

As of 7:30 am the Great Give has raised $163,243 from 458 donors.

You can give as little or as much as you want, but you’ve got to give something! Here are some ideas for local charities that can get you started in your giving today.

1. Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, Inc.

  • $20 – All proceeds will go towards the Parks to Work Program
  • $40 – Your donation will go towards the purchase of a pair of work boots
  • $60 – A day of wages and a surprise for you
  • $100 – Work boots, a day of wages and a commemorative brick in our serenity garden

Our goal is to end homelessness in Palm Beach County by providing sufficient resources though housing, education, advocacy and community collaboration.

Give Now Get more info

2. Grassy Waters Conservancy

The Grassy Waters Conservancy mission is to support, promote and protect Grassy Waters Preserve for environmental education and research, and nature based experiences, while ensuring its ecological integrity, and in concert with its role as a regional water supply.

The Grassy Waters Preserve creates a sense of place and is recognized for sustaining a unique regional public water supply while supporting a diverse natural and cultural heritage. Grassy Waters Preserve natural, cultural, and historic resources shall be maintained for future generations, while providing appropriate high quality environmental education and research opportunities, and enhancing residents and visitors connection to and stewardship of the Grassy Waters Preserve, the City of West Palm Beach Regional Water Supply, and greater Everglades ecosystem.

Give Now Get more info

3. No More Starving Artists

No More Starving Artists Foundation is a 501 (c)3 in Palm Beach County, Florida that will help artists primarily in the county be self sustainable personally & financially through services and funding.

  • $25 – Assist an artist with submissions and applications fees.
  • $50 – Assist with professional & personal development workshops.
  • $100 – Assist with supplies and materials for workshops and classes
  • $500 – Assist with assisting non-art orgs hire artists for projects
  • $1,000 – Assist with scholarships, awards, & emergency grants
  • $5,000 – Assist with up to 20 micro-grants

The goal is to change the conversation and the mindset for artists of all disciplines in our local community. Spread knowledge that these creatives are important to our economy and tourism while at the same time providing opportunities and resources for PBC artists to succeed.

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4. Police Athletic League

The Police Athletic League (PAL) is a juvenile crime prevention program that relies heavily upon academics and recreational activities to create and maintain the bond between police officers and kids on the street.

PAL is based on the strong belief that children, if reached early enough, can develop a strong positive attitude towards police officers in their journey through life towards the goal of adulthood and good citizenship.

The aim of our efforts is to build self-esteem and resiliency in youth, and to provide positive alternatives to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, delinquency, violence, gang activity, and other negative behaviors. PAL programs include: Youth Leadership Group, football, cheer, basketball, after-school programs, and summer camp. PAL serves over 400 kids, and many of these children use the PAL center as their second home.

Give Now Get more info

5. InnerCity Innovators

Homicide is the leading cause of death for black American youth, especially those residing in inner cities of across the country. We believe that if trends like these are going to be ended, it’s going to have to come from the inside out.

Inner City Innovators, Inc. (ICI) is a 501(c)(3) Florida non-profit corporation committed to breaking the perpetual cycle of youth delinquency and gun violence in the inner city.

Founded and led by Ricky Aiken, a product of the inner city of West Palm Beach, our aim is to give youth the example and platform needed to take the safety of their community into their own hands.

Donate Now Get more info

Bonus: The Bonus Pool

With 485 local nonprofits, serving essentially every need, participating in Great Give Palm Beach and Martin Counties, the Bonus Pool is a GREAT way to support them all!

How does it work? Every Great Give nonprofit that raises at least $5 will receive a percentage of the bonus pool – your gift will amplify their funds raised during the 24-hour period to make an even bigger impact! Don’t forget to check the box to cover the processing fees so 100% of your donation goes to the nonprofits!

The Bonus Pool is raised and distributed by United Way of Palm Beach County.

Give Now
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