As an eager freshman Commissioner back in December 2020, I volunteered to be the city’s representative on the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) board.

Their mission of planning, prioritizing, and funding diverse transportation options appealed to my desire to see more bike and pedestrian-friendly roads in our city and more viable public transportation options in the future. I was confident my participation in the MPO would eventually make our streets in Wilton Manors safer and more accessible to everyone.

Sometime during the January new board member training on the 90+ acronyms that were essential in MPO speak, I realized progress might not come as quickly as I had hoped. I relied heavily on city staff to help me navigate the issues being faced by the MPO board as well as our city, especially around road design, funding, safety, and maintenance. Most importantly, I began to understand the challenges associated with designing and maintaining roads that are managed by different entities: the city, the county, or the state via FDOT.

Some of the challenges we face in designing and maintaining our roads:

  • Lack of autonomy in decision making about crucial safety aspects like speed limits 
  • Inconsistent design approaches to bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways 
  • Complex funding rules or uncertainty depending on who manages the road 
  • Multiple design manuals and differing best practices 

We’re seeing how these challenges affect us personally with two of our own roads: Powerline Road and NE 26th St.

Powerline Road FDOT recently completed its Powerline Road Safety Audit (https://bit.ly/3JmswpP). While they did reduce the speed limit on the road, as a city we are interested in seeing additional changes implemented that so far have not been agreed to. We are requesting an acceleration of all safety improvements recommended in the report, a further reduction of the speed limit, improvements to ensure bicycle lane safety, and a pedestrian crosswalk.

NE 26th Street

The city has some funding for improvements to Northeast 26th Street on the east side of Wilton Manors. City staff recently provided an overview of the proposed changes to the Three Bridges Neighborhood Association. Noticeably missing from the plan was bike lanes and landscaping/lighting improvements. Todd de Jesus, our city leads on the project, expressed his commitment to pursuing all possibilities, but shared with residents the need for county engineer approval. Further complicating the process is the fact that Broward County surtax funds limit how funds can be spent on this project.  

These two examples — one a state road and one a county road — show the need for us to be innovative and comprehensive in our approach to the problem. At the last Westside Association of Wilton Manors meeting, Hunter Stephens suggested a city-wide resident-driven task that could work with the commission and city staff to engage both County and FDOT officials. Since we’re experiencing challenges across the city, a unified task force like this may be the right next step. If you would be interested in supporting a task force in its outreach efforts, you can contact (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) as well as contact me via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or text message at 954.557.2801. I look forward to providing an update on our progress in the coming weeks. 

- Chris Caputo, Wilton Manors City Commissioner

P.S. If you happen to be preparing for transportation jeopardy, you can visit the MPOs website to learn the 90+ acronyms used in traffic talk for yourself at https://www.browardmpo.org/acronyms.

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