Fort Lauderdale residents have never been this aggravated with traffic, the city’s latest survey showed.
But city commissioners Tuesday said they’re not ready to make an aggressive move to take over the traffic signal system in Fort Lauderdale. Instead, they’ll rest their hopes on Broward County, which passed a sales tax increase in November to ease congestion. Among the county’s promises: more work tinkering with the timing of traffic lights, so drivers aren’t fuming as they hit red light after red light.
Roadways in Fort Lauderdale are swelling with traffic, as unprecedented high-rise development continues.
And the communal road rage is growing. Satisfaction with the flow of traffic in Fort Lauderdale dropped to it lowest point in the survey released last May. Residents also pegged traffic as the top issue Fort Lauderdale leaders should fix.
The unhappiness is beyond the norm. Satisfaction in Fort Lauderdale traffic flow is below the U.S. average, according to ETC Institute, which conducted the survey.
In 2012, 39 percent of those surveyed in Fort Lauderdale said they were pretty satisfied with the overall flow of traffic. The percentage of those satisfied plunged to 20 percent by 2016, and fell still further to a mere 15 percent in the survey released last year.
The survey was of 744 people, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent.
By comparison, more than 70 percent of those surveyed were very satisfied with police and fire services, a trend that held steady over the years.
That kind of unhappiness should be addressed, the city decided last year, hiring Kittelson & Associates, a traffic consultant. Kevin Lee, associate engineer with Kittelson, told commissioners Tuesday that they could try to get more involved in the traffic synchronization. But the price tag wasn’t within the city’s reach, officials said.
“It’s beyond our capabilities,” Mayor Dean Trantalis said after hearing the multimillion-dollar cost of operating the signals. “We’re in no position to fund millions of dollars a year for this.”