Broward County's Greenways System will be a fully funded, countywide network of safe, clean, bicycle and equestrian paths, nature trails and waterways.
Greenways will connect each neighborhood, from the Everglades to the Atlantic Ocean to conservation lands, parks and recreation facilities, cultural and historic sites, schools and business areas. The system will provide opportunities for recreation, restoration and enhancement of native vegetation and wildlife habitat, and alternative modes of transportation.
The Planning Process
In the spring of 1999, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, recognizing the need to improve the quality of life in our urban environment, identified the creation of a county-wide system of greenways and trails as a priority goal. The County's Department of Planning and Environmental Protection was tasked with the responsibility of developing the plan to achieve this goal. A technical advisory committee, with members representing the Florida Department of Transportation, South Florida Water Management District, Florida Turnpike Authority, Broward County Engineering, Broward County Transportation Planning Division and the Broward County School Board was created to oversee the plan preparation. Over the following two-year period, numerous public meetings were held around the County to seek public input at various stages in the development of the greenways plan. Public support was enthusiastic and a wide variety of interests participated at the meetings including municipal officials, bicyclists, equestrians, boaters, developers, environmentalists, state and regional governmental representatives and others.
The County's greenways planning kicked off in the fall of 1999 with an all day visioning session facilitated by the South Florida Regional Planning Council. Over 100 participants gathered at Anne Kolb Nature Center to draft the vision statement for the plan. Following the completion of the vision statement, planning for the actual greenways corridors was initiated with a request to Broward's municipalities to submit greenways corridor proposals for inclusion in the plan. Approximately 20 municipalities submitted proposals. Several cities had on-going greenways programs and some, most notably the Town of Davie, already had developed local greenways systems. County staff also began assembling information on canal rights-of-way, wide road rights-of-way, utility easements, waterways and other potential greenways corridors. This information along with other planning information was utilized to draft a conceptual greenways system plan. In the fall of 2000, the public was invited to attend a meeting at Fern Forest to review the planning information and draft plan and assist in preparing the final conceptual greenways system plan. It was the consensus of meeting participants that the conceptual plan should provide a framework that could link together the planning efforts of individual municipalities.
Based upon the public's input and planning considerations, six priority corridors were selected for more detailed planning. These corridors included Dixie Highway, Cypress Creek, Conservation Levee, New River (State Road 84), Flamingo Road, and Hiatus Road corridors. Detailed right-of-way information was collected on the five corridors and draft plans were prepared. Five public meetings were held in the spring of 2001 at locations around the County to seek public comment on the detailed corridor plans. Following endorsement by the Broward County League of Cities Technical Advisory Committee, the Broward County Commission approved an amendment to the Broward County Comprehensive Plan to incorporate the conceptual greenways system plan.
Conceptual Master Plan
There are over 370 miles of regional greenways, land trails and water trails delineated on the CONCEPTUAL MASTER PLAN. The regional network of greenways depicted are essentially the regional backbone which may supplement, augment or serve as a foundation for the local trail networks, such as the trails of Davie, Plantation, Parkland and Southwest Ranches.
In addition to the six priority corridors selected during the planning process, public input and subsequent planning meetings led to addition of two other Greenways to be included in the priority list. Thus, eight corridors now represent the “phase one” corridors of the Broward County Greenways System. They include the Dixie Highway, Cypress Creek, Conservation Levee, New River, Flamingo Road, Hiatus Road, Barrier Islands, and Griffin-Orange Greenways. These Phase one corridors were identified as those with the highest priority for development. These corridors effectively form a framework that traverses all parts of the County, and provide a good representation of differing types of trails, from wide paved and unpaved trails through natural and rural areas, to wide sidewalks through urban areas. This approach provides opportunities for all types of Greenway users and interests.
The main purpose of this Greenway System planning process has been to create a plan that can begin to be implemented right away. To this end, the following general actions are recommended:
- Adopt the Broward County Greenways Master Plan
- Continue the Mission of the County's Greenways
- Technical Advisory Committee
- Establish Greenway Funding Sources
- Establish an Implementation Schedule
- Promote Greenway and Trails within Broward County
- Construct Greenway Corridors