What is Concurrency?
Concurrency means that the necessary public facilities and services are available when the impacts of development occur. Concurrency is a timing mechanism, to assure that the provision of development and facilities occur simultaneously. The public facilities subject to concurrency are roads, sanitary sewer, solid waste, drainage, potable water and parks/recreation, as provided in Chapter 163.3180 (1) (a) of the Florida Statutes. Concurrency is measured based upon level-of-service standards as adopted in the Comprehensive Plan.
What is a constrained roadway?
A constrained roadway is a roadway that will not be expanded with additional through lanes because of physical, environmental or policy constraints. Physical constraints primarily occur when intensive land use development is immediately adjacent to roads, thus making expansion costs prohibitive. Environmental and policy constraints primarily occur when decisions are made not to expand a road based on environmental, historical, archaeological, aesthetic or social impact considerations.
What is a backlogged roadway?
A backlogged roadway is a roadway that is operating at a level-of-service below the minimum level of service (LOS) standards, is not programmed for construction improvements in the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) five year work program schedule, and is eligible for future improvements as designated in the Comprehensive Plan (as it would not yet be at its ultimate section pursuant to City Policy).
What is level-of-service (LOS)?
Level-of-service (LOS) is a measure of the operation of a roadway based upon traffic volumes in relation to road capacity. LOS is represented by the letters A through F with A representing the condition with least driver delay and F representing conditions with the most driver delay. The level-of-service standard represents the typical peak hour during the peak season.
LOS - A describes free flow. Road users are unaffected by the presence of others in the stream of traffic.
LOS - B describes stable flow. The presence of other road users in the flow of traffic begin to be noticeable.
LOS - C describes stable flow, but the operation of road users becomes significantly affected by the interaction of others in the traffic stream.
LOS - D while still stable, describes high-density areas where speed and freedom to maneuver in the roadway becomes severely restricted.
LOS - E describes operating conditions on the roadway which are at or near capacity. All speeds are low and the freedom to maneuver is difficult. Maximum flow rates typically occur at LOS E.
LOS - F occurs when the arrival flow exceeds the discharge flow and causes a queue to form. Intersection congestion occurs at critical intersections. Arterial flow occurs at low speeds, typically at less than one-third the free-flow speed.
Palm Beach County has adopted LOS D as its standard for State and County roads. In 1989, the City of Boca Raton adopted, in the Comprehensive Plan, LOS E as its standard on City roadways.
Level-of-service calculations are based on the Federal Highway Administration's (FHA) Highway Capacity Manual and the F.D.O.T.'s Level-of Service Handbook. Actual operations-level, signalized intersection level-of-service is a very complicated calculation involving a multitude of variables that occur in the field. Planning-level generalized volume tables have been developed to quickly estimate roadway level-of-service, assuming average default values for the many variables. These variables include the following actual data (among others) which can be determined in the field for the specific roadway being analyzed:
What is Traffic Calming?
Traffic calming is the combination of physical features constructed in the roadway that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use by altering driver behavior and improving conditions for non-motorized street users. In the City of Boca Raton, a formal Traffic Calming Policy was adopted on February 27, 2001 that establishes guidelines for a neighborhood wishing to participate in the City's Traffic Calming Program. An "Enhanced Speed Hump" traffic calming feature is available for funding by the city through the Program. Call (561) 416-3374 for more information or for a copy of the Policy.
Can we put up signs to tell traffic to slow down?
The City of Boca Raton has found that passive devices such as signs are not effective. Most drivers do not respond. Installing active traffic calming measures such as speed humps to physically slow traffic work best
Are STOP signs an option for traffic calming treatments?
No. STOP signs are traffic control devices, not traffic calming measures. STOP signs are installed to clarify who has the right-of-way at intersections. They are not an effective method for calming traffic or slowing speeds. When installed where unwarranted, they breed disrespect from drivers and actually may cause crashes by providing a false sense of security to pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists.
What are some of the advantages and disadvantages to speed humps?
Speed humps are the most direct way to address driver behavior and encourage slower speeds. They are also one of the least expensive traffic calming features, are easy to construct, require minimal design work, and can be implemented in a short time frame. However, speed humps do increase emergency response time by causing an average delay of 7 seconds per feature. In addition, while overall noise levels on the street may decrease due to lower vehicle speeds and traffic volumes, some noise may increase at the actual speed hump location, such as from trucks with loose equipment.
What are some alternatives to speed humps?
Although speed humps are the only feature available for funding through the City's Traffic Calming Program, other
traffic calming features such as mid-block islands, mini-traffic circles, entrance treatments, or roadway narrowings may be implemented if a Homeowners Association or group of property owners wish to pay for them. An engineering permit from the City and approval for the features through the City's Traffic Calming Program are still required.
Can we just close the road?
According to the City Code, only the City Council has the authority to close a road. Road closings or diversions should only be considered as a last resort. Closures require traffic to divert to other routes and can increase trip lengths. Physically closing a road may impede emergency service access to neighborhoods and cause concerns for sanitation pick-up and other services.
Can we get more police cars to patrol our neighborhood?
Yes. The Police Services Department has a Hotline to report traffic problems or request additional enforcement. In addition, if traffic calming is requested to be implemented in a community, a request for additional law enforcement may help the neighborhood transition smoothly as an interim measure.
How much will all of this cost?
Speed humps are the quickest and least expensive traffic calming features to install. The "enhanced speed hump" features cost approximately $13,000 each and are funded by the City. Costs include the installation the speed hump, landscaping, and adjustments to any irrigation systems. However, regular maintenance and irrigation of the landscaping will be the responsibility of the adjacent property owners. Other traffic claming features will cost more depending on the cost of design and construction and must be funded by other sources, such as a Homeowners Association or group of property owners. The City has a limited annual budget for the Traffic Calming Program which is subject to final approval by the City Council.
How are property values affected?
Based on information gathered to date, property values will not be negatively effected.
How long is the process?
The process has 8 steps. Each step requires time for coordination with area residents and adjacent property owners. After initial contact is made by residents interested in traffic calming with the City, a final traffic calming plan may take between 6 and 12 months to develop or longer, depending on how quickly adjacent property owner agreement can be obtained. When a final traffic calming plan has been developed and voted in favor to proceed, it can be scheduled for construction.
When is a traffic signal installed?
Federal guidelines (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices - MUTCD) that establish minimum conditions under which a traffic signal installation should be considered are mandated by Florida Statutes. The MUTCD provides a process for maintaining agencies such as the City of Boca Raton to follow while investigating conditions and circumstances regarding the installation of a new traffic signal.
The MUTCD contains criteria, or warrants, that define the minimum requirements for volume of vehicular or pedestrian traffic that are used to define the need for and appropriateness of a particular traffic control device. Warrants should be viewed as guidelines, not as absolute values. However, if no warrants are met, a traffic signal will not be installed. Satisfaction of a warrant is not a guarantee that a traffic signal is needed. The MUTCD states that proper engineering judgment should be exercised in making the final determination. More details about traffic signals is provided in the Information Brochures section of Traffic Operations.
How do pedestrian signals operate?
You must first press the pedestrian pushbutton. Waiting time will vary at each intersection
Wait for the WHITE, WALKING FIGURE symbol ( or WALK signs on older signals) before you step off the curb into the street
Look both ways for moving and turning vehicles; then proceed with caution across the intersection, walking between the crosswalk lines
The ORANGE FLASHING HAND (or DON'T WALK signs on older signals) alerts pedestrians that they may not start crossing the intersection, but may finish crossing if already started during the "WALK" indication
When the ORANGE HAND (or DON'T WALK signs on older signals) stops flashing, traffic will begin to move across the crosswalk. Pedestrians should wait on the curb for the next WALK symbol to be activated by once again pushing the button.
What is a left turn signal?
Left Turn signal phases facilitate left turning traffic and usually improve the safety of the intersection for left turning vehicles. However, this is done at the expense of the amount of green time available for through traffic and will usually reduce the capacity of the intersection. Left turn arrows also result in longer cycle lengths which will in turn have a detrimental effect by increasing stops and delays.
While adding a left turn phase can often improve safety and reduce delay, other solutions such as timing adjustments to improve gaps for left turns and geometric improvements to improve sight distance may be more appropriate. More details on left turn signals is provided in Information Brochures section of Traffic Operations.
How do I report a traffic signal or school flasher malfunction?
Traffic signals and school flashers in the city limits are maintained by either City of Boca Raton or Palm Beach County. Malfunctions related to traffic signals or school flashers should be reported to Traffic Signals Section at (561) 416-3364 or (561) 416-3372. The feedback form in this web site can also be used to report such malfunctions. If the traffic signal is in flash please call the traffic signals section immediately.
What are LED signal heads?
City of Boca Raton has started a program to change out regular incandescent bulbs used for traffic signal heads to signal heads made with Light Emitting Diode (LED) modules. The conversion results in a power consumption savings, as the LED modules utilize 1/5th of power that is normally used by an incandescent bulb. The incandescent bulbs have a service life of one to two years requiring a yearly replacement effort. The service life of the LED signal heads range between five to seven years, resulting in significant reduction in maintenance efforts for the city staff. Staff projected a savings of over two million dollars for the City in power consumption and maintenance efforts over a period of seven years.
What are Internally Illuminated Street name signs?
Internally Illuminated street name signs are the lighted street name signs that are installed at signalized intersections in place of the regular signs with reflective sheeting on aluminum panels. The City has initiated this program to install the internally illuminated street name signs at all signalized intersections to improve visibility of intersection names at night times.
When are school flashers installed?
School zone speed limits are intended to protect and increase safety for students walking across a street adjacent to a school. The lower vehicle speeds provide for greater stopping distances to avoid pedestrian crashes and also reduce the severity of crashes. When a full traffic signal is available nearby for crossing, the flashers are not normally recommended or needed. The lower traffic speeds can create a train effect with heavy traffic volumes and can reduce the amount of gaps in traffic for crossing vehicles. Older, more mature students in high schools may not require the level of security afforded to younger pedestrians. Reasonable school speed limit zones and enforcement are critical, as violating motorists can create a dangerous situation due to the speed differential.
The criteria for installing school flashers is as follows:
The amount of walking students
The grade levels involved
The presence of an unsignalized crosswalk
The presence of a school crossing guard
Generally, State Statutes governing School Zones can be found in that state's Vehicle and Traffic Law literature. These laws typically include limitations in the amount of speed reduction and the reduced speed zone location. More details on school flashers is provided in Information Brochures section of Traffic Operations.
What are in-pavement flashers?
In-pavement flasher system is a new installation that the city initiated to improve safety for pedestrians at unsignalized mid-block crosswalks. This modification to a traditional mid-block crosswalk is designed to improve pedestrian safety through the use of in-pavement flashing lights. These in-pavement lights warn vehicles to slow to a stop when lights are flashing and allow pedestrians to safely pass through the crosswalk. The in-pavement cross walk system costs approximately $ 15,000 for a two lane roadway and $ 20,000 for a four lane roadway.
What are video monitoring cameras?
Video monitoring cameras allow staff to identify or verify traffic congestion in the control center, make immediate modifications to the traffic signal timing accordingly to relieve the traffic congestion and verify the effect of these changes. Also, traffic incidents can be immediately reported to the Police and Fire Rescue Departments for clearing the roadway quickly.
What is a video detection system?
Video Detection Systems are replacing the old existing detector loops cut into the pavement. This detection system uses video images from cameras installed at an intersection to detect vehicles approaching or stopped at the intersection. This project provides substantial relief as it prevents the loss of detection due to loops getting cut by construction activities. Video detection will provide for continuous detection during construction time frames, are more durable than regular loop detection, and are easier to maintain. The cost of video detection is relatively similar to standard detector loops at large intersections.
What are roundabouts?
A roundabout is a form of intersection design and control which accommodates traffic flow in one direction around a central island, operates with yield control at the entry points, and gives priority to vehicles within the roundabout (circulation flow).
What is the purpose of multi-way stop signs?
All-way STOP signs are installed at an intersection to assign right-of-way for the approaching traffic. Installation of all-way STOP signs require satisfying the minimum requirements, or warrants, outlined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Safety Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD is a federal document published by the Federal Highway Administration, and Florida State Statutes require agencies like the City of Boca Raton to conform with MUTCD regulations. A common misconception exists that the installation of STOP signs will slow vehicles. Studies show some drivers may completely disregard STOP signs or will not come to a complete stop. This can present a dangerous situation. The percentage of drivers that roll through STOP signs or barely slow down as they pass through the intersection is very high.
How are Speed limits determined?
Section 316.187 of the Florida Statutes stipulates every agency in the State of Florida to follow specific procedures to establish a speed zone along any public roadway. The key factor for establishment of a speed zone or speed limit is the 85th percentile speed value determined from a speed study. The speed study includes measurement of individual speeds along a roadway section over a period of time. The 85th percentile speed value is the speed at or below which 85 percent of the drivers are traveling under a free flow condition. The posted speed limit should not differ from the measured 85th percentile speed by more than 3 mi/hr and shall not be less than 8 mi/hr. Variations from this range can be justified by supplemental field reviews that may show such alignment and curvature issues, sight distance problems, high traffic volumes, and crash experience.
How do I report a damaged/missing sign?
Any damaged or missing sign can be reported to the Traffic Signs Section by calling (561) 416-3362. The feedback form provided in the City of Boca Raton Traffic/Special Projects web site can also be used. If the missing or damaged sign is a traffic control sign such as a Stop Sign or Speed Limit sign, please call the sign shop immediately.
How do I report a street light outage or request new street lights?
New street lighting requests along thoroughfare roadways or in residential neighborhoods should be sent in writing to the City. The need for street lighting will be determined based on field visits and location of adjacent streetlights. The City will request Florida Power and Light in writing and obtain a schedule for installation, if the streetlight is determined to be warranted.
In the event a street light that is mounted on a wooden pole or a concrete pole is not working, please notify Florida Power and Light with the address where the light is located or the pole number. The street light outage can also be reported through the internet.
For Decorative Street lights in the downtown, please call the following number: Traffic Signals Section - (561) 416-3364
For Other street lights, please call the following number: Florida Power & Light- 1(800) 4OUTAGE
How do I request crash data?
Requests for crash data reports should be directed to the Traffic Engineering Department by either calling the Traffic Signals Engineer at (561) 416-3387 or using the Feedback form provided on this web site.