As we travel around Boca Raton, we observe opportunities for improvement. But improvement will only happen if we take action regarding what we observe. In other words, If You See Something Say Something.
How to report a suggestion
The City of Boca Raton has implemented an interface to an application called SeeClickFix. This application makes it easy to submit a suggestion (or complement) directly to the city staff and get feedback and status updates on your submission.
The myboca.us “Report a Concern or Compliment” page has several options for submitting a suggestion and the rules for doing so. Note that the map shows locations of submitted suggestions, and the colored dots provide an indication of the suggestions’ status. A more detailed view of the suggestions is available by clicking on the “List” box on the map.
The following table shows a recent week’s suggestion submissions and the city department where the suggestions were assigned. If it’s a county issue, the City staff will enter it into the county’s system.
By clicking on the List option on the myboca.us Report a Concern map, you can learn more about these and other suggestion submissions. For example, clicking the following link takes you to the details on the Bollard in Bad Shape suggestion in the above table. Bollard in Bad Shape Details can be accessed here: https://seeclickfix.com/issues/15454560
After clicking it, scroll down the page to see status updates to the issue. Also on the page are links to suggestions that have been submitted for nearby issues such as the sinking pavers around the manhole on Mizner Park Blvd at Palmetto Park Rd shown in the featured image for this article.
When the City lets a problem persist
Sometimes, a problem is not code enforcement such as encroaching landscaping or a problem such as a broken fixture, pothole etc. Rather, the problem is a design issue or lack of support for pedestrian/cycling safety. BocaFirst has an Idea Collection page where you can submit suggested improvements to city infrastructure.
The pedestrian/cycling advocates at BocaFirst work closely with Boca Baton’s Citizens Pedestrian and Bikeway Advisory Board. We’ll check out your idea and submit it to the board. For example, here’s one we are currently working on:
City ordinance Sec 28-1356 allows the Ridgewood and Lincolnwood condos to have hedges higher than the normal 6′ maximum because the property abuts public land. This means the overly tall hedges are habitually encroaching on the sidewalk; even after trimming. This is a safety problem for cyclists and scooters who are forced to ride on the sidewalk here for lack of alternative infrastructure. But these hedge encroachments have been allowed to persist in the City for decades. In this specific case, everyone living south of Palmetto Park Road needs this route to get to the 4th Avenue crossing and the danger these hedges impose is obvious to everyone who tries to use it. But apparently not to those zooming along by car.
Remedies are available
To make matters worse, where there are utility poles, there is insufficient space for mobility devices to pass. However, City code also says that if the City Manager wants to, he or she can declare them a safety hazard and not allow them. There are designs that use a knee wall or set back shrubs on neighboring properties such as the Maranatha Condos. Sadly, even though there is space in the swale for the sidewalk to be widen and go around the poles, when they were redesigned for the new bridge over the canal, nothing was done to address the hedge hazards.
The City of Boca Raton has implemented an efficient and effective way for residents to report suggestions to the city staff and receive updates on the status of their suggestions. BocaFirst also helps process suggested improvements to city pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.