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

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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