Mayor’s Letter to the ResidentsUS 1 Update
March 15, 2019
Hello neighbors and friends,
I want take a moment to bring you up to speed on the US 1 Complete Streets project by telling you a bit about the history of the project and also about some new activity you will be seeing.
To begin, I am aware that many residents believe the Village did not adequately inform them about the US 1 Complete Streets project before construction began in November 2017. As a matter of record, between the fall of 2014, when the concept was first introduced to Village Council by the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC), and July 2016, when the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) presented its updated plans for the roadway, there were a total of 21 opportunities for residents and businesses to learn about the proposed project.
Public participation was encouraged including the formation of a host committee, an all-day interactive workshop and a presentation in the Council Chambers hosted by FDOT. Newspaper articles appeared in the Palm Beach Post and Jupiter Courier. A letter from the Mayor was sent to residents asking them to attend a community workshop being held on January 10, 2015 and to participate in deciding if the Village should revamp its current six lane configuration into a four lane FDOT “Complete Streets” format. Former Council Member Frank D’Ambra wrote an article that appeared on the front page of the Village newsletter, Smoke Signals, which was mailed to every Tequesta household and business, and to homeowners in Jupiter Inlet Colony and sections of unincorporated Palm Beach County.
In addition, a full presentation by TCRPC was made to the public at the Tequesta Baptist Church in February 2015 and FDOT held a public information meeting in the Village’s Emergency Operations Center in July 2016. The US 1 project also appeared as either an action item or formal presentation on the agendas of 12 publically-noticed Council meetings and workshops.
Yet, as we have learned, even this level of public outreach was felt to be insufficient by many. However, it is only fair to note that there are also many people and businesses who have embraced the project, and still others who say that they are becoming accustomed to the new configuration.
This 1.5 mile stretch of US 1 was completed less than 3 months ago. It is understandable that new traffic patterns, dedicated bicycle lanes and green painted areas are unfamiliar to many motorists. As a means to address traffic flow concerns expressed by commuters, FDOT traffic engineers have agreed to conduct a full study of the US 1 corridor, as well as the intersection of Alt. A1A and US Highway 1. Their review will concentrate on rush hour traffic and backups caused by the closing and opening of the US 1 bridge. FDOT will begin the study during the week of March 18, 2019, and a full report will be issued within 6 – 8 weeks.
Finally, I wish to quell rumors that the roadway and all of its aesthetics and improvements were paid for by using Tequesta residents’ tax dollars. Let me clarify. With the exception of 2 added turn lanes, the entire $3.2 million dollar project was funded through a federal Transportation Alternatives Grant and FDOT maintenance funds.
I am asking for your patience as FDOT gathers statistics about the roadway and reports their findings and suggestions for alleviating traffic concerns. You will then have the data to make an informed decision about the future of US 1.
Mayor Abby Brennan
Water Solutions Working Group
The Water Solutions Working Group has had an active and engaged few weeks as we sought to identify parameters and objectives as a collective group. As individual leaders of our respective bodies, we agree that it is important for all levels of government and all public stakeholders to support efforts to improve water quality in South Florida. We also agree that the problems we face as a community today are the result of many different sources and it is time to eliminate finger pointing and blame, and get to work on funding and completing identified projects that the scientific community agrees must be completed to address these significant water quality issues. Over the past few weeks, we have had the opportunity to learn from several scientists, engineers and local stakeholders, and look forward to continue to meet with other members of our communities. We have also started to meet with officials at various levels of government to better understand their policy agendas and ideas. While we are continuing to evolve as a working group, and our objectives and issues will continue to be refined, we wanted to update you on some of the parameters we have identified to date. We have identified both large scale objectives and specific community oriented objectives that need to be fully funded and in many cases expedited. We look forward to continuing to work, meeting and working with the many people and businesses who have reached out to be part getting solutions moving forward.
- Ensure long term water quality and quantity protection of the Loxahatchee River System
- Work with Palm Beach County, Martin County and associated municipal and governmental entities towards protection of all of our community watersheds
- Ensure that funding for Palm Beach County and Martin County water quality initiatives are fully funded in the next state budget cycle
- Ensure that projects slated for completion impacting the Loxahatchee River System are fully funded in the next state budget cycle
- Meet with local elected officials, community leaders, non-profits, and identified stakeholders to identify ways to work together towards achieving these goals.
- Identify and advocate for specific and near term funding sources for the Conservation Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), and Kissimmee River Restoration projects:
- Specific funding of projects in the state budget
- Advocate at the federal levels to increase urgency on US Army Corps to move forward with funding for projects
- Advocate for funding for state-wide septic tank conversions
- Advocate for land acquisition as part of implementation of CERP and CEPP
- Advocate for Army Corps review of Herbert Hoover Dike discharge schedules to determine if the amount of discharges currently conducted are necessary
- Meet with elected state legislators and officers, federal elected officials, and state and federal agencies to advocate for expedited funding for these projects