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 Improving road infrastructure in Port St. Lucie


At present, there are two major challenges that the city of Port St. Lucie is facing and these are debt and unemployment. The previous administration left the city with a huge long term debt which has proved troublesome especially due to the turn of events that have occurred in Port St. Lucie. The once fast developing city has encountered troubling times which have led to a drastic decline in the employment sector. With the long term debt plus interest expected to amount to over 2 trillion dollars, an unemployment rate of 14% makes it more challenging to pay back what is owed plus interest. According to Rodriguez (2015), Port St. Lucie currently owes 916 million dollars out of which 335.5 million dollars were incurred through money fronted to support economic development projects. The money was to be reimbursed later but the city was unable to do so since the projects were poorly implemented. Some of these projects include the city center, digital domain and Torrey pines among others. Port St. Lucie had borrowed 39.9 million dollars in 2009 to build tradition studios, a special effects company (Rodriguez, 2015). Later on, the company failed and declared bankruptcy, leaving the city with the challenge of paying back the debt plus interest which amounted to 62.9 million dollars. Previously, 31.4 million dollars had been borrowed for the city center project, an investment that also resulted to failure and leaving more debts to be paid (Rodriguez, 2015). A service that could be economically viable and profitable for Port St. Lucie would be the improvement of road infrastructure in the area.

Key issues

            Port St. Lucie has the resources and means to resolve the debt and unemployment situation. Geographically, it occupies 120 square miles of the east coast in Florida making it the 8th largest city in Florida. It is also the 3rd biggest city in the south of Florida with a population of 179, 413 people. With such a huge geographical area and a large population, it is best positioned to benefit from the various recreational activities facilitated by good climate and park services that are in close proximity (Forbes, 2016).   When the design for Port St. Lucie was made, it did not account for the repercussions that would come about as a result of the size of the city and as a result, the way they used the land did not take into account factors such as population growth. The current population of roughly 180,000 people is expected to grow to 250,000 in the next 20 years and later on to surpass 300,000 which is more than the city can sustain (Forbes, 2016).

            One major problem has come about as a result of the city’s settlement pattern which forces the residents to commute so as to perform their daily duties such as shopping, school and going to work. At present, 34.5 percent of the residents in Port St. Lucie commute to work on a daily basis, a situation that is facilitated by a highway system that is highly extensive and the availability of cheap gasoline for their vehicles (Martin MPO & St Lucie TPO, n.d). Since most people are on the roads, they often cause congestion and end up spending money in other counties. Other than the negative effects that congested roads have on the economy, the money spent by Port St. Lucie ends up developing the cities the work in other than their own. A poor economy results to lower employment and this has made it more difficult to pay back the debt that is owed.

            To improve the situation in Port St. Lucie and overcome the challenges of unemployment and bad debts, the city should embark on developing projects that will improve the roads infrastructure. Currently, the city has over 887 centerline miles of road used for different purposes within Port St. Lucie (City of Port ST Lucie, 2012). The layout of the roads is based on a system that was established in 2003 to ensure that the mobility needs business people, visitors and Florida citizens were addressed properly. Before the local government can embark on any development project that will have an impact on an SIS facility, they are required to involve the Florida Department of Transportation in the early states on the project (Gray & Stanley, 2015).  This ensures that the project will abide to the guidelines of the Florida Interstate Highway System. Involving them is essential because the FIHS is responsible for ensuring that there is a high volume of traffic moving at an appropriate speed within the state. The system was put in place to ensure that the roads can accommodate buses in transit and high occupancy vehicles, among others over regional, interstate or trips that go for long distances. A good example of such roads in Port St. Lucie is the I-95.

            There are two types of transportation in Port St. Lucie. One is the treasure coast connector which has a scheduled time and operates along specific routes. The other mode of transportation is the community transit which caters to individuals who cannot access the treasure coast connector for various reasons such as disabilities. The treasure coast connector is therefore the official mode of transport and it operates on weekdays from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm (City of Port ST Lucie, 2012). Although the routes are spread across the city, the bus service is not ideal for servicing all the people in Port St. Lucie. There is also the issue of the limited time that it is available. Its days and time of operation makes it inconvenient for most people thus making private means of transport more desirable. With the high population, more and more people will use personal means to move about thus resulting to the roads becoming more congested, a situation that is only expected to deteriorate. Congested roads will slow down the growth of the economy because raw materials will take longer periods before reaching their destinations which will result to delay processing and packaging not to mention the damages and wastages that may occur in transit (City of Port ST Lucie, 2012).


            The General Development Corporation was responsible for constructing most of the roads that are currently in use within Port St. Lucie. Although the roads were efficient in the past, the development and population growth experienced in the city have made it more challenging to operate in these roads (City of Port ST Lucie, 2012). While the ideal solution would be to invest in road expansion to accommodate the increasing number of motorists, the plans used in the past failed to account for such requirements. The platted lots set aside for road construction are not adequate enough to accommodate the expansion capacity required to improve the roads to a position where they will comfortable serve the intensely growing population in Port St. Lucie.  Although expanding the roads may seem challenging, there are other options that could be utilized to improve the road situation in the city (Gray & Stanley, 2015). At present, there various sections of roads that operates below their intended levels of service especially during peak hours. Improvements on such roads could be made to ensure that the roads perform to the levels that were expected. Some of the improvement strategies that could be used include transportation demand management, transportation system management, congestion management, increased transit and alternate corridors.

  • Transportation Demand Management (TDM)

            One method that can be used to improve the road situation in Port St. Lucie is by using TDM to enhance the transportation system’s efficiency (City of Port ST Lucie, 2012). The method concentrates on the use of alternatives that could replace automobiles driven by private drivers and altering the demand for travel during peak hours so as control the extent of demand during different times of the day.   Some of the methods that could be used in TDM involve using shuttle services, ride sharing, telecommuting and scheduling flexible working hours. Such methods will have various advantages among which will include a lower residential density and fewer congestion for people using public means of transportation and bicycle pedestrians (Gray & Stanley, 2015)

  • Transportation System Management (TSM)

            Another approach that could be pursued is to enhance the way the road systems operate by improving the functioning capabilities of facilities used on the roads especially at intersections (City of Port ST Lucie, 2012). Access management and improving signal timing and routines will ensure that there is little congestion on the roads and that motorist do not get delayed longer than they have to. The systems must be able to adapt to different times of the day because the frequency of vehicles on the roads greatly differs during on and off peak periods.

  • Congestion Management System (CMS)

            Congestion management processes are a requirement in Florida and they help to ensure that different strategies are used to help ease congestion on roads for both the short and long term. The CMS in use has two tiers where one is responsible for identifying roads that are congested while the other seeks out strategies worth funding to reduce congestion. By easing congestion, the roads will be more efficient and motorists will have an easier time navigating through them without the need for expansion (City of Port ST Lucie, 2012). To ease congestion, a bus loop could be created that stretches from the city center and stretches to i-95 then moves to Gatlin Boulevard, through Martin county and finally back to the city center. Such a route could ease congestion as people would have an alternative route to use other than the usual ones thus reducing congestion (Martin MPO & St Lucie TPO, n.d)

            Improving the roads infrastructure will also help solve issues related to unemployment and settling the massive debts owed. When the recession hit, Port St. Luke was one of the first cities to be affected in Florida. Out of the out of the 131,041 people constituting the labor force in Port St. Lucie, 8,772 were unemployed in 2015 resulting to an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent (Gray & Stanley, 2015). However, if the transport infrastructure was to be improved, Port St. Lucie would be able to increase the rate of employment by taking advantage of the various opportunities that exist such as tourism. The city has a lot of recreational services and sports that attract tourists. A good example is the professional golfers association which was moved to the city and attracts a lot of tourists who favor the sport. The city also gets a lot of tourists when the New York Mets when they host minor league games and spring training who come to enjoy the game.  Other activities include canoeing, bird watching, camping and horseback riding which attract more tourists to the city. Improving the roads infrastructure will ensure that more tourists have access to such amenities and they are able to reach them with ease (Port St. Lucie CRA Master Plan, 2001).

. By enhancing tourism, job opportunities will be created to handle the increase in number of tourists not to mention those who will be employed in the roads development projects.


            For any community, the ability to initiate and sustain a desirable economic development is greatly influenced by the nature of its infrastructure. The infrastructure is made up of airports, railways, bridges and roads, to mention a few. In Port St. Lucie, there is favorable infrastructure which, if well utilized, could enhance the life in the community and boost its economic development. The city relies on roads for the transportation of goods and movement of people in, out and within the city. Due to its inefficiency, goods that needed to be transported to the manufacturing industries took longer than necessary. The roads also made it difficult for tourists to access the various amenities that the city has to offer. As a result, the manufacturing and tourism industry were not employing as many employees as they should have. A project set to improve the road networks in the city would therefore be an ideal solution as it would help resolve the issue of congestion and manage to create employment in the process. If more people are employed and the manufacturing and tourism industry excel, Port St. Lucie would be in a better position to pay off some of its debt due to the increased income gained from the improved economy.











City of Port St Lucie, (2012) “Transportation element: Data, inventory and analysis”

Forbes. (2016) “Port St. Lucie: Fl metropolitan statistical area” retrieved from,   

Gray B and Stanley J, (2015) “Economic development strategic plan 2015-2020” Economic             Development Council

Martin MPO & St Lucie TPO, (n.d) “Alternative land use data development” St. Lucie Urban      Area

Port St. Lucie CRA Master Plan. (2001). “Community development plan” Retrieved from,   

Rodriguez, N. (2015). “Amid economic failures and deep in debt, Port St. Lucie” Retrieved from      future/amid-economic-failures-and-deep-in-  debt-port-st-lucie-bans-big-incentive packages-ep-982772734-332818701.html


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According to the research by National Restaurant Association in 2015, California was the number one state with the highest number of restaurant outlets established up to date. Precisely, net number of eating and drinking places by year 2015 was 2,025. This means that restaurant industry in California is performing considerably well than in other states in U.S. In front of you is the founder and the CEO of Diner Inn Restaurant Chain which was established back in November 2015. The business has been performing incredibly well to a level of being able to open three outlets within one year of operation. I am a bachelor’s degree holder in hotel management with an experience of 15 years in restaurant industry.

 I created the business because of my field of experience and after following the statistics on the industry development, it was perceptible that the business would perform well in the market. Diner Inn Restaurant offers variety meals in its menu with unique services at affordable prices. The restaurant focuses on both adult and children market segment by offering two unique menus to satisfy the demands of the customers in these segments. Diner Inn Restaurant is located in California which is the market niche of the business citing from its developing restaurant industry and market.

The slogan for our business is “Where Your Satisfaction Is Our Concern” and the mission statement is “To Offer Variety of Meals and Unique Services at Affordable Prices”. It is our honor to invite you to our grand opening of our new outlet at Newport Beach, California on November 20, 2016 starting from 3 PM. The event will host the expected manager of the outlet, Sophia Adams who will be the guest speaker. The event will offer our meals and drinks at discounted prices. We will be expecting more than two hundred guests during the event.

Thank you so much for your time and we are glad to invite you to the grand opening of our new restaurant outlet.    


National Restaurant Association, (2015).California added the most restaurant locations in 2015. Retrieved from

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