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Residents driving on one of South Florida’s busiest sections are outraged by their tax dollars for a road improvement project that intentionally slows traffic.

However, the city of Pompano Beach says there is a method to what residents say is their folly.

“I might as well walk and get my money back,” said Dalisa Bowens, a Pompano Beach resident for six years. “I don’t want to drive slower. I want to drive the speed limit. I don’t want to be stuck in traffic.”

Bowens had a rude awakening on his way to morning coffee recently.

“I saw poles. I woke up one morning on my way to Dunkin Donuts, which is usually five minutes long, and saw how the traffic was so congested that I turned around, ”Bowens said.

The posts are now located along Atlantic Boulevard in Pompano Beach, just east of I-95, and extend a distance past Pompano Beach Town Hall. These posts cut one lane on Atlantic Boulevard in each direction. Drivers wonder why two lanes were deleted and are not returning.

“It was just amazing how still the traffic stayed,” Bowens said. “It was like for 10-20 minutes and I saw it happen every day. I was like, what’s going on?”

A list of drivers has shared their frustrations with NBC 6.

“The traffic is definitely worse,” Jessie Miller said.

“It was crazy,” added Joe Lawrence.

Sandra King, who represents the City of Pompano Beach, spoke exclusively to NBC 6 about the Uproar.

“What you’re seeing right now in Dixie and Atlantic is the start of a whole new downtown redevelopment for Pompano Beach,” she said.

Courtesy of the City of Pompano Beach

The city has received $ 25 million from the state and county and is cutting traffic lanes to make way for a beautification project that will provide pedestrian walkways, rest areas, bike paths for a grand entrance to the town with new restaurants, retail stores, and apartments nearby.

“Right now it’s a little hard to imagine because you can’t see anything,” King said.

Drivers along Atlantic Boulevard said they had no problem seeing blocked intersections.

“Right now we have growing pains,” King said. “We started off in a bad patch. Obviously, it’s a disaster to begin with.

Traffic engineers hired by Pompano Beach found that in a single day, nearly 175,000 drivers pass City Hall. The city’s own projections show that the new traffic pattern will slow two-way traffic on Atlantic Boulevard. Experts estimate that it will take anywhere from 30 seconds to up to three minutes longer to get from I-95 to the ocean or from the beach to 95.

Courtesy of the City of Pompano Beach

Drivers called these estimates unrealistic. Bowens laughed at the numbers.

“It didn’t make sense to me why they reduced traffic,” she said.

Since the pandemic, Bowen has started running his life insurance and equity investment business from home and not so much on Atlantic Boulevard. Overall, she thinks the city is making a mistake.

“It’s going to hurt more than the attraction they’re trying to bring, and I really think they should rethink the way they do it,” Bowen said.

Pompano Beach says it has seen improvements in synchronizing traffic lights and hopes to do more.

“He’s still backing down. So we’re not done yet, ”King said. “People will look for alternative routes if they want to zoom from one place to another, but eventually the traffic will flow.”

Spokesperson Sandra King on the Pompano Beach Downtown Redevelopment Project and Its Impact on Traffic

The city realizes that what is in progress is difficult to sell.

“I totally understand. We ask a lot of people, “King said.” We ask people to have a vision that they don’t see. “

It’s a tough concept to follow, but the city says when this is all over, while maybe slower drivers, more of them will reach their destinations faster because they will be able to get closer to the car that precedes them.

The next time residents have a chance to weigh in is in early December at the city commission meeting, but for now the poles remain.

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