MONROE COUNTY, FL – The Monroe County Year 2030 Comprehensive Plan (Comprehensive Plan) and Land Development Code (LDC) require that all proposed development and redevelopment taking place within unincorporated Monroe County do not result in a reduction of the implemented level of service requirements. The Comprehensive Plan and LDC have established minimum level of service (LOS) standards for roads, particularly U.S. 1, which is part of the Florida Department of Transportation State Highway System.
The LOS standard is implemented through a review of development proposals, ensuring that the transportation facilities needed to serve development will be in place when the development impacts occur.
The U.S. 1 Arterial Travel Time and Delay Study (study) is prepared by the County’s professional traffic engineering consultant every two years to monitor traffic volumes and travel speeds on U.S. 1 overall, as well as on each of the 24 study segments on U.S. 1.
The 2023 draft study was completed utilizing the BOCC’s adopted methodology and indicates that the overall LOS for the entire length of U.S. 1 has fallen from LOS C to LOS D, and there is no reserve capacity for additional trips. According to the approved policies and regulations in the Comprehensive Plan and LDC, this would mean that the County may not permit new development, other than single-family homes, unless the proposed development’s traffic impact is mitigated.
Staff confirmed with the County traffic engineering consultant that the FKAA water main breaks and repairs during the data collection dates were accounted for in the study calculations and results. However, the consultant also verified the 2023 data includes excessive construction delays in 2023 compared to 2021 and more than double the delays due to traffic signals. The traffic consultant suggested an option to update the data in 2024 to capture signal retiming and to account for the possibility that construction delays were abnormally long.
The 2023 draft study requires approval by the Monroe County BOCC. Once approved, professional staff incorporate it into the Biennial Assessment of Public Facilities Capacity Report, which will be presented to the BOCC for adoption at a future meeting to be used for development review. If the draft study is adopted indicating an overall LOS D on U.S. 1, an applicant would need to work with the County and FDOT to identify mitigation and improvement projects to achieve and maintain compliance with the implemented LOS, represented by a median speed of 45 mph.
The Monroe County BOCC will discuss the 2023 draft study at the regularly scheduled BOCC meeting on Nov. 8, 2023 at 11 a.m. (time approximate) at Harvey Government Center in Key West. The meeting will also be available via Zoom at www.monroecounty-fl.gov/meetings.
The commissioners will discuss four potential options regarding what to do with the 2023 study findings. The options include:
A. Approve and utilize the 2023 study (development applicants must identify mitigation); and complete the next study when it is regularly scheduled for in 2025.
B. Continue to utilize the 2021 study (2023 data affected by excessive construction delays) and complete the next study during its regularly scheduled time in 2025.
C. Approve and utilize the 2023 study (development applicants must identify mitigation); and move the next study to 2024 instead of 2025, resulting in development traffic mitigation until complete.
D. Continue to utilize the 2021 study (2023 data affected by excessive construction delays) and move the study to 2024.
Other options may also be discussed at the meeting.
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