Dixie Highway Speed Limit Might Get Reduced Again, Ostensibly Because a Man Was Killed (Updated)

Categories: Crime
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The Fort Lauderdale City Commission will vote tonight on a measure recommending that the speed limit on a section of Dixie Highway be reduced from 30 mph to 25 after being reduced from the 35 mph that a traffic study found to be appropriate in 2009.

The request, on paper, is because of a pedestrian who was killed back in January. But the affected stretch of road rather conveniently lines up with a stretch that residents are trying to redevelop into a swankier business district clean up with hundreds of thousands in grant money.

The Sun-Sentinel ran an article last month about the $140,000-plus in grant money being put into the region of Dixie Highway stretching a mile north from NE 13th Street and about how residents wanted, as Smith put it, "sidewalks and cross walks and big canopy trees."

And now the Fort Lauderdale commissioners will also look at changing the speed limit along that stretch, even though they admit in the proposed resolution that it's not really the city's job to be setting speed limits.

But even though the resolution says it's because of "an unfortunate incident involving a fatality," it sure looks like it's actually about those sidewalks and canopy trees.

Smith, when I spoke to him June 6, confirmed that this wasn't the first time the speed limit reduction had been proposed:

"We tried it a number of times to try to reduce the speed," he said. "The last time we tried it some years ago, some of Dixie Highway was 25 and some was 30, and we asked if we could just make it all 25. So they came and checked it out, and made it all 30... It's called 'Dixie Highway,' but its the most residential, smallest little Dixie Highway you could imagine."

He said the latest push got more traction because of the death, but it's always been a question of making the road safer.

Update, 6/6: Added comment from Smith. Also, this post originally included information about the "MRSMRSB" redevelopment project in Middle River Terrace, which is a push by residents to make a stretch of NE 13th Street more business-friendly. We'll have more about that, and its troubles with Broward County Commissioner Dale Holeness, in the coming weeks, but it's been removed to avoid confusion and make the post more clear. The lack of clarity was my fault.



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4 comments
Scott Strawbridge
Scott Strawbridge

Rich: I think your article may be based upon a flawed premise. The speed limit/traffic calming request is for Dixie Highway - a primarily residential area that has heavy cut-through traffic heading north and south. The County funding request is for NE 13 Street - a divided four lane commercial corridor that runs east/west. 

You think there is a crooked deal here? God help us all....................this is the state of journalism

Rich Abdill
Rich Abdill

I'm not sure it's fair to judge the entire state of journalism based on a six-paragraph writeup of a city commission resolution, but I've fixed that part of the post. Thank you for pointing it out, albeit in a way that couldn't possibly have been more snotty.

The rest of the information, however, hasn't changed -- it's the same stretch of road being eyed for redevelopment to turn it into, as Smith put it to the Sun-Sentinel, "a showplace. A fun place to eat and drink. Like SoHo." That doesn't sound like somewhere people are just cutting through -- they're going there.

That's why this request seems to be about the redevelopment, not someone being killed. I didn't say it was crooked, just that it's quite convenient a guy died there.

Scott Strawbridge
Scott Strawbridge

No Rich, respectfully you are wrong - it is not the same stretch of road. As to snotty, that was the entire tone and premise of your piece. You created a snotty salacious premise out of vapor.  The City and County requests and resolutions are not, repeat, not related. They are different issues on different roads. It is all in the backup. The part of it you did not publichThe resolutions clearly state this and it seems you still do not understand.  Not being snotty, just expecting if you are a journalist that you will print stories that are actually based upon real events. Fiction is cool too - just let us know in advance that it is not news so we can adjust our antennae

Scott Strawbridge
Scott Strawbridge

" I didn't say it was crooked, just that it's quite convenient a guy died there."For any of you readers who are confused. Rich's story infers that some kind of a backroom deal may be in the works. Facts: - a pedestrian was killed on Dixie Highway, in  a residential area about 1/2 mile north of  NE 13 St. Yesterday Fort Lauderdale asked for the speed limit to be reduced on this county road.Also yesterday some citizens went to the county to request money for fixing up the NE 13 St Business area - they formed a new CRA and are seeking to get seed money to fix up the sidewalks and make it more attractive.Rich asks: "Is it a coincidence that the proposed speed-limit reduction is in the exact parameters of the proposed redevelopment?"The answer: If you read the backup, you will see that Rich's hypothesis is fatally flawed as these are two separate issues on two separate roads.Conclusion: article was either poorly researched, or an intentional fabrication - again I am commenting on the story and the state of the "art"

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