Challenge

The 42-mile-long US-1 corridor in Palm Beach County, FL, crosses through 14 municipalities and many of the county’s activity hubs and plays a key role in mobility for all modes of transportation. The corridor’s socioeconomically diverse population makes this PalmTran’s busiest route, and the area is currently facing fast-paced redevelopment. However, adjacent redevelopment has created an inconsistent feel to the corridor, leading to incomplete multimodal transportation facilities and resulting gaps in access to healthy foods and healthcare facilities. Palm Beach MPO hired Kittelson to initiate a mobility study that assesses multimodal conditions and develop a consistent corridor vision that not only accommodates but supports all users.

Solution

Kittelson led the planning process and completed the US-1 corridor study which involved preparing a health impact assessment (HIA) to create a complete and connected multimodal corridor. The HIA was aligned with an ongoing transit and complete streets study to identify the health-related outcomes of the corridor’s potential multimodal improvements and how they impact the physical, mental, and social well-being of the community.

To investigate these impacts, our team organized multiday charettes to engage local communities. We learned about some of the unique struggles that they face while traveling along the corridor and how the incomplete multimodal facilities affected their everyday lives. These stories and the community’s overall involvement throughout this process brought a greater level of detail in the creation of HIA recommendations.

THE DAVISES IN BOYNTON BEACH: Mr. Davis (who was permanently injured in an accident 20 years ago) and his wife, who is also disabled, are grateful for their degree of independence. Because they do not own a personal vehicle, the Davis’s can be seen traversing the US-1 Corridor with their automatic wheel chairs. They rely on Palm Tran for nearly all of their daily trips: playing bingo, visiting the beach, shopping, medical appointments, and visiting nearby parks to feed the ducks. They live just two blocks from the Palm Tran stop at US-1 and 6th Avenue, however, Mr. Davis noted that they both need to ride their wheelchairs in the bike lane because of the lack of continuous sidewalks. Mr. Davis noted that, while he is riding in the street, he has been told by local authorities to use the sidewalk or face getting a ticket. There is no sidewalk.

PEDRO IN BOYNTON BEACH: Pedro is a certified nursing assistant (CNA) employed by Bethesda East Hospital in Boynton Beach. Each morning at 4:30 AM he walks, in the dark, to the West Palm Beach Intermodal Center from his home west of downtown. With the lack of pedestrian lighting on his path, he is very concerned for his personal safety and “fears [he] will be a target” for crime. Pedro's roundtrip journey to work takes a little over four hours each day. Because of his safety concerns, he sometimes rides Tri-Rail in the morning, however, he uses the bus on the return trip due to the cost. He usually purchases a weekly bus pass, but on the day he was interviewed his weekly pass had expired and he was forced to purchase a single pass because of personal financial issues. Pedro felt that the cost for a weekly pass was too much for a trip that would normally take about 20 minutes by car.

The Outcome

Stories of the Corridor

The study results in a clear vision for the future of US-1 that fits the context of the various communities and provides consistent, safe, and comfortable multimodal transportation options for all residents. Through this study, our team provided local policy-making and community organizations with a clearer understanding of how health can impact land use policy and transportation decisions in the long term.

The HIA is a more inclusive and comprehensive tool because of the stories shared by community members which help to illustrate the assessment data. This resource is already helping local agencies and organizations prioritize and facilitate the implementation of projects that improve access, health, and mobility in Palm Beach County.

Office

Fort Lauderdale

Client

Palm Beach TPA

Location

Palm Beach, FL

Team

Services