SARASOTA, Fla. – Florida Department of Transportation’s Secretary Billy Hattaway (District 1) recently addressed the Florida Department of Transportation’s journey to complete streets and local projects at a Meet the Minds luncheon held by The Argus Foundation (ArgusFoundation.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to joining business leaders from diverse industries and leveraging their talents and experience to benefit the community.
During the August 19 luncheon, Secretary Hattaway touched on local projects, including the construction at Bee Ridge Road and the University Parkway diverging diamond interchange. He also gave attendees an overview of Florida’s historic transportation and land development patterns contributions to sprawl development and defined Florida Department of Transportation’s approach to complete streets, which involves the integration of transportation and land development patterns.
“Bee Ridge Road is one of the highest crash corridors in this county’s district,” said Secretary Hattaway. “We are using various engineering treatments to remedy that.”
Secretary Hattaway also commented on the department’s success in completing projects on time. At the end of September 2017, the University Parkway diverging diamond interchange will be complete, he said.
He provided information on Florida Department of Transportation’s progress in solving the bicycle and pedestrian safety issue and shared information on the next steps to completing Florida Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets Implementation Plan, which was adopted in January 2016.
According to Smart Growth America’s 2014 Dangerous by Design study, four of the most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians are in Florida, including Orlando-Kissimmee, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach. The desire to improve Florida’s reputation on this front brought Secretary Hattaway back to Florida.
“There’s not a one-size-fits-all for road design,” said Hattaway. “It takes a comprehensive approach, including education and the way we design and engineer our roads. We try to create consistent driver expectation and work with agencies so when a Florida driver travels to Georgia, everything looks familiar.”
With a land area of nearly 12,000 square miles, District 1 represents 12 counties in southwestern Florida. Its 1.8 million residents contribute to the 21 million miles traveled daily on its state highways. District 1 provides capital grant funds to 21 public airports, including two international airports, which are both designated “Strategic Intermodal System” (SIS) hubs. In addition, there are 121 registered private aviation facilities in the district.
District 1 is comprised of Sarasota, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee, Okeechobee and Polk Counties.
About The Argus Foundation
Established in Sarasota in 1983, The Argus Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to joining business leaders from diverse industries and leveraging their talents and experience to benefit the community. The organization, which seeks to facilitate communications between the public and private sectors, has more than 170 members from 50 different industries. For more information, visit ArgusFoundation.org.
Meant to educate and stimulate, the Meet the Minds luncheons feature informative guest speakers who discuss the important issues impacting the community, state and world.
About Billy Hattaway
Billy Hattaway, P.E. is the Secretary for the Florida Department of Transportation (District 1). He has over 35 years of transportation and program management experience within the public and private sector. He holds a MBA degree from the Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology.
He is the champion for the Department’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Focused and Complete Streets Implementation Initiatives to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and comfort in Florida. He is also the chair for Bike/Walk Central Florida, a nonprofit organization dedicated to safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.
He was recently recognized by Governing Magazine as a 2014 Public Official of the Year and by the Florida Chapter of Congress for the New Urbanism with the John Nolen award for his leadership on the Department’s bicycle and pedestrian safety and Complete Streets initiatives.