Transforming the Auto Strip
The experience of living and working and shopping along the US 1 corridor – or just passing through – should be one of the delights of our Region.
But where the best should be, the US 1 corridor is now the kind of road that most investors and residents prefer to avoid – a place where real estate values and commerce have been traded down for rush hour traffic capacity.
Five decades of single-minded road widening and bland development have taken their toll. In response, much of what is being built today turns its back on the corridor as if the communities have just given up on it. What will be done to make this corridor work for people, instead of just for cars?
Because of the exposure and access US 1 offers businesses, the properties that front this corridor should be some of the most valuable real estate in the region. Yet many of the developments are aging and are approaching obsolescence. What will replace them?
The 2035 St. Lucie/Martin Regional Long-Range Transportation Plan, the 1999 Seven Cities Northern Palm Beach County US 1 Corridor Study, and several other redevelopment planning efforts along the US 1 corridor throughout the Region, have called for a context sensitive approach as a strategic alternative to roadway widening to achieve viable transportation options, enhanced real estate values, and to accommodate future population growth. The US 1 Corridor Retrofit project is envisioned to comprise many elements including but not limited to the following:
- Transit-supportive redevelopment in the corridor
- Rapid bus transit along US 1
- Branded buses and stations
- Formalized landscaping
- Bus priority treatments including transit signal priority and bus queue jumper lanes at key intersection bottlenecks
- Signal coordination improvements including enhanced arterial progression
- Improve grid network of connecting streets following traditional neighborhood design principles
- Context sensitive design solutions that encourage transit accessibility and walkability
- Sustainable redevelopment in the corridor following Livable Communities Initiative principles
- Regional and inter-city passenger rail service in the parallel FEC Railroad corridor
- Underground utilities
This project is an alternative to roadway widening and standard strip development along US 1. As such, the project assumes an innovative approach where roadway funds are “flexed” to implement transportation and transformative redevelopment components of the US 1 Corridor Retrofit.