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Our goal is to become a fully connected city of tomorrow—a city that is anchored by mobility and walkability; a city that is pedestrian friendly; a city that depends less on vehicles and relies more on alternative modes of transportation.
City of Fort Lauderdale State of the City 2013: Game Plan

The Connecting the Blocks Program is a multimodal connectivity implementation program established to accomplish the Fast Forward Fort Lauderdale 2035 Vision developed with community input. During that visioning process, one of the primary focuses was the Goal of “We Are Connected: We move seamlessly and easily through a safe transportation system where the pedestrian is first”. Connecting the Blocks identifies needed infrastructure improvements to create a multimodal, connected transportation network within the City following Complete Streets Guidelines and includes elements for the pedestrian, bicycle, transit and vehicle systems.

Implementation Process

In 2013, the City of Fort Lauderdale completed a comprehensive visioning process with our residents to determine what they imagined the City to look like in 2035. The outreach efforts for the Vision included many differing formats and generated ideas, including creating a connected, multimodal transportation network. The Connecting the Blocks Program was developed to implement the Vision of having a Connected Community: Where we move seamlessly and easily through a safe transportation system where the pedestrian is first. The Program utilized the public input received during the Vision process as well as additional outreach specific to the transportation goals. The transportation network was then inventoried to establish a baseline and to generate a list of project needs to create Complete Streets across the City, utilizing the award winning Complete Streets Policy that was adopted by the City Commission in October 2013.

The Connecting the Blocks Program identifies needed pedestrian, bicycle and transit infrastructure improvements. Each treatment was considered based on the context of the roadway and includes categories such as Center City Boulevard, Commercial Avenue, and Residential Street. The current conditions of each roadway determine the needed improvements. The comprehensive list was then prioritized based on criteria developed utilizing ranking from various funding sources to assist in determining the viability of funding the projects in the future. Those criteria were weighted based on input from the City Commission. More weight was given to projects that improve safety, contain sustainable elements, fill existing network gaps, and support transit.

Implementation Timeline

The Connecting the Blocks Program grew out of the City’s Vision process. The Vision process began in 2011 and was completed in 2013. The Connecting the Blocks Program process dovetailed with the Visioning process and was adopted by the City Commission in 2013 as well. Implementation of the Program has already begun. The implementation program extends for 20 years and is broken down into 5-year implementation categories based on the prioritization exercise completed.

Implementation Funding

The Program is being implemented through a variety of funding opportunities including City Community Investment Program (CIP) funds, Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) programming, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) work program, Broward County, grant funds and private developers.

Community Benefits

The community will benefit by being able to travel to their daily needs in whichever mode of transportation they choose, with all modes being safe and convenient. This will improve the health of residents by being able to choose walking and biking as a viable mode of transportation, it will help to reduce traffic congestion for those choosing vehicles, and it will support public transit use by creating the last mile infrastructure needed to access transit safely. The resulting reduction in vehicle miles traveled along with the addition of shade trees and landscaping will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce heat island effect, and increase stormwater infiltration, which all contribute to a more resilient and sustainable communities.

The Facts

Quick Facts & Statistics

  • The City of Fort Lauderdale’s grid pattern of streets and the increasing mix of uses in the Downtown Regional Activity Center lend to a successful multimodal community.
  • The future Wave Modern Streetcar and All Aboard Florida rail transportation options will add significant transportation options for users of the system.
  • In the 2014 Neighbor Survey conducted by the City, nearly 50% of residents stated that they ride a bicycle regularly.
  • Fort Lauderdale has an overall higher mode split than Broward County for walking, biking and transit. In some neighborhoods, it is much higher, for example, in the SE 17th Street corridor east of US1, the percentage of residents without a vehicle is 17.6% and 12.7% walk to work. According to the American Community Survey 2009-2013 5-year data: Fort Lauderdale Broward County Below poverty level 15.0% 10.9% No vehicle available 9.7% 7.7% Walked to work 2.9% 1.3% Transit to work 4.6% 2.9%
  • The City’s Complete Streets Policy was ranked 3rd in 2013 of the cities that adopted policies that year by Smart Growth America partially due to the fact that the Connecting the Blocks Program existed.