WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. — West Melbourne, which has seen its population grow nearly 35 percent since the 2010 Census, is trying to determine how to deal with more traffic congestion and how to make the Minton Road area safer for traffic, bicyclists and walkers.
What You Need To Know
- Minton Road from SR 192 to Palm Bay Road is congested
- The 3-mile area has 9 schools, plus residential and commercial properties
- Among the options under consideration is widening the road
- Virtual open house by planning group attracts 70 people
- Another public meeting is planned in early 2021
Traffic just before classes start and end at Meadowlane Elementary School gets congested, especially on rainy days.
"It's crazy with all the cars coming through here,” said Steven Everly, who often waits in the car loop to pick up his two children after school. “It gets hectic really quick. Even just going to work, it gets super-congested."
The area around the school — on Minton Road, from State Road 192 to Palm Bay Road — has nine public and private schools, residential and commercial properties, and two public bus routes.
The city reached out to the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization a couple of years ago for help with plans for the busy corridor's growth, which includes a new city center.
"That can sometimes contradict the concept of building bigger and bigger roads," according to Sarah Kraum, the program manager for the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization Minton Road Feasibility Study. "When you are talking about building a town center, it's a more multi-modal facility. There's walkers and bikers."
- Determining whether there is a need to widen Minton Road from four lanes to six.
- Improving areas around traffic signals to make them safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Getting input from the public.
With the COVID-19 pandemic in mind, the planning group held a “virtual open house” and attracted 70 people.
"[It was] Set up like you would 'walk through,' but rather 'click through,' the various stations of the open house," Kraum said.
Planners will take into account all the input received at the meeting. Another public meeting is scheduled for early 2021.
And now they will take all the input and move to the next step.
For Everly and his wife Deanna, any time saved in the car loop would be welcome.
"It would definitely help out substantially," Steven Everly said.
The project will be a slow-mover because of a decrease in federally funded money generated by gas tax collections during the pandemic.
Map of the Minton Road Area