The city's second OB Life workshop outlined the future for Ormond's streets.
An estimated 44% of people at the city's latest civic engagement workshop on transportation on Tuesday, July 24, felt that it is relatively easy to get around town with existing roadways and traffic flow, polling results showed.
About 100 people, majority of which were Ormond Beach residents, participated in the polling as part of the city's second OB Life workshop. The OB Life series is a city initiative to encourage civic engagement to collect feedback for the City Commission's strategic plan update. This workshop included presentations by deputy city engineer Shawn Finley and local engineer Maryam Ghyabi of Ghyabi and Associates.
Together, they discussed the elements that make up a "livable community," which include a healthy environment, access to housing and a comprehensive city planning approach, said Finley. They also differentiated which roads were city-maintained from those under county or Florida Department of Transportation jurisdiction. Ghyabi said that was an important fact to know.
“The funding comes based on where that pocket of the projects are," Ghyabi said.
Changes coming in the next decade to I-95 and U.S. 1 interchange
Finley announced during the presentation part of the workshop that the redesign phase for the I-95 and U.S. 1 interchange was approved for FDOT funding. The interchange was designed and built in the 1960s, Finley said, and it looks virtually the same now as it did then.
“It’s time," Finley said. "It’s time for some improvement.”
However, the bad news for Ormond Beach is that it has to work on FDOT timeframes. Yes, it was approved — but the design phase won't begin until 2028 at the earliest, with construction following up sometime around 2034. Finley's words incited groans of disbelief from the audience.
The first step is getting on the list, he said, which it now is. Now, the city will have to press FDOT to expedite it as much as possible.
“If you get on the list, it is half the battle," Ghyabi said.
Finley presented the attendees with a diagram showing six stages of traffic congestions ranging from free flow, to stable flow to forced flow, with categories in between. He said going from A1A to the entrance of Hunter's Ridge west of I-95 would take about 11 and a half minutes at free flow.
“And you may be able to do that at midnight or one o’clock in the morning," Finley said.
As deputy city engineer, Finley said he'll time his rides sometimes. For this workshop, he did just that and found that on the worst day, at 5:15 p.m. on July 19, driving from A1A to Hunter's Ridge took him 22 and a half minutes.
To improve that, the city is working on an adaptive signalization program. This will improve the existing traffic flow and lessen congestion during peak times. Finley said the program would decrease travel time by 10%.
The next OB Life meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30 at the Calvary Christian Academy Kids Center at 1687 W. Granada Blvd.