As Port St. Lucie expands, there is risk that infrastructure will not keep pace with the city’s growth or increased population
The population of Port St. Lucie has more than doubled since 2000, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in America.
In a new report published by 24/7 Wall Street, Port St. Lucie was named the sixth fastest-growing city nationwide. From 2000 to 2019, the city’s population jumped from 88,769 to 178,778—a 101.4% population increase in just 20 years.1
But as Port St. Lucie continues to grow, so does its responsibilities.
The Port St. Lucie Traffic Issue
One of the most important issues facing Port St. Lucie is transportation. With growth—which is a wonderful problem to have—unfortunately comes traffic.
Recent years have seen a rise in traffic congestion throughout St. Lucie County. Roadways, such as Port St. Lucie Boulevard, St. Lucie West Boulevard, and Gatlin Boulevard, have become notorious hotspots for bumper-to-bumper traffic and auto accidents.
The traffic in Port St. Lucie has come to a point where it is negatively impacting the positive growth due to the lack of infrastructure necessary to provide support. That’s why many of the city’s public works projects have been focused on improving transportation.
In the fall of 2019, the Crosstown Parkway Bridge was completed and opened for use. A $91 million bridge providing the city with a much-needed third east-to-west connection across the North Fork of the St. Lucie River, from Manth Lane to U.S. 1 at the Village Green Drive intersection, the Crosstown Parkway Bridge was developed to help alleviate traffic congestion on Port St. Lucie and Prima Vista boulevards.
Plans are also underway to widen Port St. Lucie Boulevard. On average, more than 16,000 vehicles per day travel on Port St. Lucie Boulevard between Darwin Boulevard and Becker Road, which connects with Interstate 95 and Florida’s Turnpike.2 As the city’s population continues to rise, this number is expected to significantly increase, causing concern for local residents who frequent the route.
The Effects of Traffic Congestion in Port St. Lucie
When a city becomes overcrowded, heavy traffic congestion can have a tremendous impact on your personal life, career, future and even your safety. Here’s what Treasure Coast residents can expect as Port St. Lucie continues to grow:
- Delays – one of the most significant effects of congested roadways is delays. During your morning or afternoon commute, you may experience additional stress as increased traffic leads to slower travel times.
- Fuel Consumption and Pollution – The stopping and starting in traffic jams burns fuel at a higher rate, costing commuters additional money for fuel and contributing to the amount of emissions released by the vehicles.
- Road Rage – If someone is not driving as fast as the person behind him thinks he should, or someone cuts in front of someone else, it can lead to a reaction known as road rage, which can be dangerous to the offender and those around him on the road.
- Emergency Vehicles – When you dial 911 and request a police officer, an ambulance or a fire truck and the emergency vehicle is unable to respond in an appropriate amount of time because of traffic congestion, it can be a danger to you and your property. Thankfully, there are systems available that help alleviate the problem by allowing the emergency crews to automatically change the traffic lights to keep the line moving.
Tips to Help Avoid Accidents in Port St. Lucie
- Avoid rush hour—if possible. Typically, rush hour in Port St. Lucie is at its peak during the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
- Slow down a bit. If you run into traffic, slow down a bit. Zigzagging along, while trying to find the fastest-moving lane, really won’t save you much time. By slowing down, you can avoid potential collisions with jittery drivers who just don’t have the patience to deal with traffic delays.
- Maintain a buffer zone between vehicles. Driving a tad slower will also help you keep a better buffer zone between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you maintain a reasonably sized buffer zone, you’ll have time to react to sudden braking by the cars ahead of you, or any erratic driving you might encounter.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. By keeping track of your blind spots, and watching changes in the driving patterns of others, as well as road signs indicating detours, construction work or other obstacles in your way, you’ll be better prepared for any surprises down the road.
- Communicate your driving intentions. Always use your turning signals. Letting other drivers know what you’re about to do helps them prepare their own course of action and reduces the risk of accidents.
- Stay cool and collected. Traffic jams can be maddening, but still, try to stay as calm as you can. By yelling at other drivers and driving with anger, you’ll only end up damaging your own car or truck, and possibly your body too. The high blood pressure and stress you’ll pile on just isn’t worth it. Zen is the name of the game in heavy traffic. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out . . .
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Port St. Lucie Auto Accident
Nobody anticipates being in an accident, and the aftermath can be devastating. At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, we understand the pain, confusion, and frustration felt by accident victims. That’s why we have dedicated our practice to helping Treasure Coast residents recover from life-altering accidents caused by the negligence of others. We handle everything for our clients. We will help you find a body shop for repairs, reserve a rental car, meet with doctors and medical specialists, and escape insurance adjustor harassment. Our job is to deal with the insurance company and recover the money you need. Your job is to heal and get better.
Don’t wait to speak with one of our Port St. Lucie auto accident attorneys. We offer free case value estimate and free consultations. We have four convenient office locations in Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, and Okeechobee. But if you can’t come to us, we will come to you. Led by Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney Steve Hoskins, who is recognized as a Top 100 Trial Attorney in the nation and has 40 years of experience, our personal injury department has won over $500 million in settlements for our clients. See the hundreds of five star reviews for yourself!
Contact us online or call us now at 866-460-1990.