Over fifty Oakland Park residents attended the November 9th Prospect Road Community Meeting hosted by the City of Oakland Park and facilitated by Oakland Park Public Works Director Al Carbon.
This was the second community meeting recently held to update residents on the road improvements on both NW 21st Avenue and Prospect Road. The public was also able to voice their concerns about various topics pertaining to the two roadways.
The recent road improvements to Prospect Road, from Commercial Blvd to Dixie Hwy, consisted of narrowing of the roadway from three lanes in each direction (between I-95 and Dixie Hwy) to two lanes. Adding dedicated bicycle lanes to the entire Prospect Road corridor, as well as new signage. Repaving the roadway and adding new street lighting topped off this phase of the project. Median landscaping will also be installed in the future.
Much of the meeting allowed residents to speak about their serious safety concerns with the Prospect Road corridor. Excessive speeding is the top concern amongst residents who spoke. The extremely high speeds that drivers are going on Prospect Road is, in the words of one resident, “Consistent, out of control and have resulted in numerous accidents at almost every intersection, some with fatalities”. One resident, who’s home backs up against Prospect Road said that they are afraid to even be in their own backyard for fear of a car crashing through their fence.
Numerous suggestions for safety improvements were voiced by residents, including adding a four way stop light at NW 15th Avenue and Prospect Road. Raising the speed limit from 35 to 40 miles per hour (so that it is consistent with NW 21st Avenue). Installation of dedicated crosswalks at all intersections between I95 and Commercial Blvd on Prospect Road (with pedestrian activated stop lights). Adding more BSO staff to patrol the area, specifically for speeding on Prospect and NW 21st Ave.
The installation of dedicated left turn arrows at the intersection of Prospect Road and NW 21st Avenue for north and south bound traffic. Completion of both the planned second lane of south bound traffic on NW 21st Avenue, between Prospect Road and NW 44th Street. Adding the second left hand turn lane on Prospect Road to southbound NW 21st Avenue.
Carbon conveyed that he would be requesting a traffic study regarding the NW 15th Ave and Prospect Road intersection. Details will be forthcoming once more is known about the study.
Another issue that came up and that has become a big bone of contention with residents is the recently installed “Welcome to Tamarac” sign in the middle median on Prospect Road just west of NW 15th Avenue.
Al Carbon shared a visual map showing that the Tamarac city boundaries go across Prospect Road from the North to the back fences of the homes on the south side of Prospect between NW 15th Avenue and NW 21st Avenue. A fact that was a surprise to even some longtime residents.
Prospect Road is a county road under Broward county’s authority. Tamarac applied to the county for the sign, and as it is within their city limits the sign placement was approved by the county. Unfortunately, no one in Oakland Park city government was made aware of this sign being installed by the City of Tamarac.
The sign is ill-placed and gives people driving through they are entering Tamarac, which they are, but they are also driving through Oakland Park. Residents expressed they would like the issue rectified somehow.
Al Carbon stated that Oakland Park Mayor Jane Bolin has reached out to the Mayor of Tamarac, Michelle Gomez, to discuss the signage and is hoping to come up with a compromise dual signage for the area that reflects both Oakland Park and Tamarac.
There is also a privacy and noise wall being installed on the north side of Prospect Road for the Tamarac Lakes neighborhood. The wall will run between just west of NW 15th Avenue to immediately east of the Excelsior Charter School on the corner of Prospect Road and NW 211st Avenue. No details yet on when this construction will start. The City of Tamarac is in charge of this project since it falls within their city limits.
Jeff Barnes has lived in Oakland Park since 2001. Originally from Denver Colorado, Jeff moved here for the sunshine and he never looked back. He is a past board member of The Corals Of Oakland Park Neighborhood Association where he served as Vice President 2017-2020 and President from 2020 to 2021.
Jeff has lived on both the West and East sides of Oakland Park and is very well versed in Oakland Park history. A very active citizen, you will often see him at all the local Oakland Park events and meetings.
Jeff has worked in the Commercial Real Estate Management field for 20 years in downtown Fort Lauderdale. His hobbies include, classic movies, travel, writing and pretty much anything outdoors, weather permitting.