Boca Raton aims to remedy downtown traffic woes

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By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor
If Boca Raton wants to reduce congestion at the intersection of Palmetto Park Road and Northeast/Southeast Fifth Avenue, the city is going to have to add the left-turn lanes that were removed, according to an independent traffic study.
The left-turn lanes were removed in 2011 to plant trees, which in turn caused traffic to back up.
To solve the congestion issue, a consulting firm recommended the city add the left-turn lanes and city council members agreed. The study took about nine months to complete and it took into account future construction and developments in the pipeline.
The council told city staff to install left-turn lanes at the Fifth Avenue intersection and at the intersection of Palmetto Park Road and Mizner Boulevard. City staff estimates both busy intersections will have turn lanes by November.
To address other traffic woes in the city, the council agreed to move ahead with purchasing technology that is capable of detecting an arriving train that in turn adjusts traffic signals to permit more cars to cross the tracks with a green light before the crossing gates go down.
The city will also look into whether to add a city employee to monitor city traffic during the work week, who would be responsible for adjusting traffic signal timing if necessary.