Wilton Drive isn’t the only street where city officials want a lane reduction to go into effect. Powerline Road, through a project lead by the Florida Department of Transportation [FDOT], will be reduced from six lanes to four.
“It isn’t suited to be a six-lane highway. It’s primarily residential. There are single-family homes abutting a six-lane highway,” said City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson.
A public meeting to discuss the plans will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Mickel Park. FDOT officials will be in attendance to answer questions and take input.
In addition to the lane reduction, a planting strip will be added through the middle of the street and the two outside lanes will be used to create a bike lane and a buffer between the road and the sidewalks/bike lanes. There will also be resurfacing and restriping work done. All of it funded by FDOT.
The improvements will be made along Powerline Road from Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale north to Northwest 29 Street in Wilton Manors.
Henderson said the city would also like the speed limit reduced but it would be up to FDOT to make the decision. Powerline Road is a state road. The city has no control over it. “We want to reduce the speed of traffic and make it easier for pedestrians to walk and feel safe in the area,” said Henderson.
And safety concerns have been one of the primary issues residents have talked about with Powerline recently.
One group of speeding ATV riders became such a regular nuisance that the police department began an operation to crack down on them.
“It’s incredibly disturbing to the neighborhood,” said Mayor Gary Resnick last year. He lives
west of Powerline Road and said the group, which travels south towards Fort Lauderdale, comes through the city every Sunday evening.
Unfortunately, said Police Chief Paul O’Connell, there’s not much the police can do.
According to state law, police can only pursue the driver of a vehicle if they commit a “forcible felony” which is defined as any “felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.” O’Connell said his department is in the same position as it was last year. “Even though they pose a safety hazard, we’re not going to increase the safety hazard by giving chase.”