Parkland Commission Discusses Potential Heron Bay Development Traffic Impacts
Heron Bay community in Parkland and Coral Springs {Parkland Talk}

By Bryan Boggiano

As Parkland continues to grow, so might traffic.

The city commission discussed ways to mitigate future traffic headaches at their November 16 workshop, focusing on future transportation and mobility improvements.

The meeting was the second of a six-part workshop series focusing on future growth. It also follows the city’s purchase of the former Heron Bay Golf Course.

Jim Hickey and Diana White from Calvin, Giordano & Associates presented traffic impacts based on the different areas of development within Heron Bay.

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Parkland Commission Discusses Potential Heron Bay Development Traffic Impacts Parkland Commission Discusses Potential Heron Bay Development Traffic Impacts

For the 33-acre and 8.5-acre commercial use plots and CGA projects, there will be about 19,000 additional daily trips, and for the 13-acre portion in Coral Springs, they project an additional 7,000 daily trips. This is in addition to the roughly 22,000 daily trips in the area, according to the 2019 numbers from the Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Based on the assumption, there will be 250,000 square feet of retail space on Heron Bay’s Parkland side and 75,000 square feet of retail space on the Coral Springs side.

The primary access points for the Heron Bay commercial property will be at the Nob Hill Road and NW 66th Street intersection and along Heron Bay Boulevard.

White notes that the areas on Coral Ridge Drive north of the Sawgrass currently can handle 37,000 trips. The increased traffic would mean daily trips exceed 40,000.

To accommodate this, Hickey said the area between the Sawgrass Expressway and Heron Bay Boulevard on Coral Ridge Drive could be widened to five or six lanes.

White and Hickey stated the numbers are estimates, and additional traffic studies would be necessary if the city moves forward with developments.

Other traffic-easing projects include the diverging diamond. According to CGA, Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise is looking to install one at the Sawgrass Expressway and Coral Ridge Drive.

Parkland Commission Discusses Potential Heron Bay Development Traffic Impacts
A sample concept of the diverging diamond interchange [Wisconsin Department of Transportation]

The diverging diamond allows traffic to flow temporarily on the left side of the road underneath the highway, reducing the need for traffic signals and allowing left-turn drivers to turn without crossing in front of oncoming traffic.

Vehicles coming off the Sawgrass Expressway can merge onto Coral Ridge Drive before stopping at a traffic light. Cars making a left to go onto the Sawgrass would have one traffic stop, down from the current two.

The first diverging diamond interchange in the United States opened in 2009 in Missouri. Florida’s first came in 2017 in Sarasota County.

Currently, there are more than 150 throughout the country. In South Florida, there are two along the Dolphin Expressway in Miami.

“It’s an interesting concept, and it really works with interchanges like Coral Ridge [Drive],” Hickey said.

The city also has three roundabouts planned at Loxahatchee Road and one at the intersection of Hillsborough Boulevard and Mecca Boulevard.

White noted that while the city would need to consider emergency vehicles, buses, and trucks for roundabout construction, they reduce the need for traffic signals.

“[Roundabouts] really [are] a traffic-calming device,” Hickey said. “You’re not racing from light to light.”

Mayor Rich Walker also focused on Parkland keeping its character, saying, “You get to keep the look of your community. It’s much more appealing to the eyes than a traffic light, not to mention it’s faster and safer.”

Parkland would have to collaborate with the county on the roundabouts and with city and county officials on constructing a diverging diamond.

The city would also have to work through the specifics of a traffic study, review traffic effects throughout the city, and meet with county officials to discuss the types of intersection traffic control at Nob Hill Road and NW 66th Drive.

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Author Profile

Parkland Commission Discusses Potential Traffic Impacts from the Heron Bay Development 1
Bryan Boggiano
A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.

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