Broward’s history is relatively short compared to many other places in the world. Much of our population has arrived over the last 60 years. From the scant 84,000 people living in Broward in 1950, we have grown by almost a factor of 21 times to a total 1.9+ million people today. Our transportation system has grown rapidly to meet the mobility challenges that come with a growing population. Our homes and neighborhoods have spread west from the early developments along the Flagler Railroad near the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the eastern edge of the Everglades.
The early Flagler Railroad that connected Fort Lauderdale with the rest of the country gave us a legacy of strong north-south connections. Much of our development occurred along the eastern coastline early in the 20th century. People moved to Florida in greater numbers during the latter part of the last century and as new cities and houses were built in western Broward, our roads developed in a grid system.
Growth in the last decade has slowed by comparison to our population explosion at the turn of the 21st century. Yet, we expect another 214,000 residents to live in Broward by 2045. Today, there is little land left for more people or roadways. In Broward, we are sandwiched between sawgrass (the Everglades) and seagrass (the Atlantic Ocean). We no longer have room to widen our roadways or build new roads.
Speak Up Broward's History
Speak Up Broward: Phase 1 was started with the intent of opening a dialogue with the public on transportation to discover transportation needs and wants including prioritization of funding, service and projects. This effort lasted from 2013 to 2015 and broke ground on innovative outreach methods such as Program for Empowering People, Broward Partners Group, Speakers Bureau, and E-TownHalls.
Speak Up Broward: Phase 2 started in 2015 and concluded in 2020. The focus during this phase continued the conversation with the community and expanded to become our public engagement platform. Raising awareness of the Broward MPO as an agency and providing communication and outreach support to our core products and initiatives became key goals for the Speak Up Broward initiative for this phase. During this time, the agency was rebranded with a new logo, tagline, style guide, templates and website. Innovative methods such as videos were introduced while 'tried and true' methods such as social media and e-town halls were expanded upon to further engage the public.
One of byproducts of Speak Up Broward Phases 1 and 2 education efforts on transportation funding came to pass in 2018 when Broward voted to have a dedicated funding source for transportation through a municipal surtax.
The next phase of Speak Up Broward- Phase 3- began in late 2020 and is looking to further this ongoing conversation with the public.
For More Information
Please contact Anthea Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or (954) 876-0034 to learn more about the Broward MPO and what they are working on in your community.