After evaluating multiple locations throughout Broward County, the Florida Department of Transportation has recommended Oakland Park over neighboring Wilton Manors as a commuter rail station. 

FDOT is hosting three meetings this week to hear from the public. The first was Monday and an in-person meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. A virtual meeting is also planned for Wednesday.

The 27-mile Broward Commuter Rail is planned to start in Aventura in Miami-Dade County and make its way north to Deerfield Beach. FDOT recommended nine potential station areas for the in a report submitted Aug. 30, including Oakland Park. The city was evaluated alongside Wilton Manors and the department decided that Oakland Park was a better fit “because of pedestrian connectivity and facilities, station visibility, street layout, on-street and public parking, and planned development.”

The report also states that the city of Wilton Manors requested that FDOT review “additional information provided by both cities” to better compare the two, but Oakland Park was still found to be a better location because it “demonstrated more active projects that have been advanced by the city and a Mobility Plan which is currently being implemented.” The report adds that Wilton Manors’ “long-term projected growth and buildout are not as robust as in Oakland Park,” and it cited that the Island City’s zoning code “omits important [transit-oriented development] requirements.”

Should the city be chosen to serve as a train station, the FDOT’s recommendation is for it to be located on 12th Avenue between 36th and 38th Streets, just south of Funky Buddha Brewery.

Oakland Park is currently in the middle of finalizing plans for OP3D, or the Oakland Park Design Development District. Multiple community meetings have been hosted so that the city and Zyscovich Architects could hear from the public on green space, sidewalks, retail and restaurant space, and public transit. The city passed a resolution of support for a train station in 2010 and again in 2019, and in a citywide survey, 77% of respondents were in favor of a station in their city. Construction has also started on multiple plans, such as the renovation of City Park and an RFQ that was released earlier in August to redevelop six acres of land on Dixie Highway.

Oakland Park is asking the public to sign a letter of support for the rail project. Interested parties can also register to participate in the upcoming public meetings:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 31 at 5:30 p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Register here
  • Wednesday, Sept. 1, 5:30 p.m. for a virtual meeting. Register here

The Gazette launched a Wilton Manors focused newsletter. Sign up today! You can also visit Facebook.com/groups/WMGazette to join the Gazette’s community Facebook page.