Over the past few months I’ve posted about the new Clematis Streetscape project that the City has embarked on.
The Clematis Streetscape project is a multi-phase approach to improving one of the City’s most beloved streets, Clematis Street. As part of an overall effort to improve the quality of life of residents and visitors, the City of West Palm Beach is rolling out more than 40 projects to maximize the cityscape for business and leisure. Projects are slated to begin in the short, medium and long-term future. With the return of passenger rail, and continuing change in the retail landscape (due to online growth and recent City zoning changes), the Clematis Streetscape project is perfectly poised to address the current and future needs of Clematis Street businesses and downtown residents.
The City has engaged visionary urban planning company Dover, Kohl & Partners to design a polished and professional solution to the next phase of Clematis Street. With a strategy that focuses on smart growth, and sustainability, the Coral Gables-based firm believes there does not have to be a trade-off between livability, economic prosperity, and environmental concerns. Victor Dover and Joseph Kohl, who are charter members of the Congress for the New Urbanism, and have worked for many public agencies, developers, and citizen groups, structure their designs with this guiding principal.
The city held multiple workshops, including a public meeting at the West Palm Beach Green Market.
There were multiple objectives with this project:
- A curbless street which prioritizes the pedestrian;
- Wider sidewalks;
- More shade trees that create comfortable space for people;
- Narrower traffic lanes that slow travel speed;
- Additional dining and seating areas; and
- A new high-quality palette of materials designed with heat-absorption, maintenance, longevity and aesthetics in mind.
On the 26th of February at the Clematis Streetscape design was given unanimous approval by the West Palm Beach City Commission at last night’s Face of the City meeting. Project managers, Erik Ferguson, P.E., Transportation Engineer for the City of West Palm Beach, and Allison Justice, Senior Project Manager for the CRA, presented notable improvements to the 300 block of Clematis Street, which were drafted and provided by renowned designer Victor Dover, of Dover, Kohl & Partners in Coral Gables. The design was a result of community collaboration, as the project managers had extensive public meetings with Clematis Street merchants, other area merchants, stakeholders, residents, and visitors, who provided input and feedback on suggested improvements. Improvements include expanded sidewalk space, addition of shade trees and more narrow traffic lanes, among others.
Here are the most recent renderings that have been approved for the 300 block of Clematis Street.
“I am incredibly proud of the entire Clematis Streetscape design team,” said Mayor Jeri Muoio. “The designs they presented are thoughtful, putting people first, but also maintaining a balance of multiple interests. Through collaboration with area merchants, residents, community members who work or play downtown, and other stakeholders, they have created a beautiful space. I know with certainty these improvements will create greater quality of life for all – and will be the launching pad for continued enhancement to other City streets.”
Improvements to the 300 block are scheduled to break ground in June. Construction is expected to be complete by October, and additional blocks will be scheduled for improvements in the future.