Broward County Commissioner - Lois Wexler - The Latest News
December 2011

Happy Holidays

The calendar year may be winding down, but we know that our schedules are twice as busy as usual with business and family responsibilities. I hope you’ve found my office helpful this past year in dealing with the challenges of this difficult time. This newsletter highlights a few of the efforts the County has made recently to make your life a little easier, including making library services available 24/7 to anyone with a computer. I wish all of you a happy holiday season and look forward to serving you in the coming year.

Libraries Without Walls

Until recently, if you wanted to read a Broward County library book, listen to its music, scour its reference databases, you had to drive to a library building – if it was open.

But now, with Broward County Library Without Walls, (BCL WoW) a surprising array of services are available on your home computer, the WiFi at the airport and even on your Smartphone, many of them offered 24/7. Today, people want information and entertainment on their schedule, anytime, anyplace. Your library system has retooled itself to offer just that through its website www.broward.org/library.

Among the services:

  • Reserving and renewing books online.
  • Downloading free music – tens of thousands of tunes – from the site.
  • Downloading ebooks and audiobooks that can be played on your home computer, tablets, an E-reader (which can be checked out of the library), even on your phone.
  • You don’t even need direct Internet access: your tablet or Smartphones can connect with 15,000 volumes through QRCs (Quick Response Code) shown on special screens at the airport so you can read a book on the plane or later on vacation. The County is exploring making that available on some County buses as well.
  • A free mobile app that teaches 80 languages "on the go" with your Smartphone or tablet.
  • Job hunting experts offer free, online interactive assistance in resume writing and interview coaching.
  • Scores of databases are available online, ranging from telephone directories to newspaper archives.
Cycling Through

After many months of planning, the fledgling “B-cycle” bike-sharing program is slated to kick off this month, a healthy and ecologically-friendly public transportation alternative.

Residents and tourists can rent a bicycle at one location and return it to another, either for recreation or business, trips that are too far to walk but too short to drive. The program is already operational in Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, San Antonio and Washington, D.C.

Beginning December 14, the service will be available at three kiosks: 326 Johnson Street, Hollywood; Esplanade Park, 400 S.W. 2nd Street, Fort Lauderdale, and Pompano Beach Aquatic Center, 820 N.E. 18th Ave., Pompano Beach.

The B-Cycle company has plans to place about 20 additional locations across the eastern corridor.

Users sign up in advance on the program’s website or at the kiosks. The users can then swipe a credit card or use a pre-purchased membership card for daily or weekly rentals or even buy an annual membership.

For more information, visit broward.bcycle.com.

 I-595 Update

Progress continues steadily on the I-595 overhaul with some new improvements already opened.

For instance, a new network of bridges has created the first through route along S.R. 84 stretching from U.S. 1 to I-75 . Until now, motorists had to get off at the intersection with S.R. 441 and travel along I-595 before picking up S.R. 84 again at Davie Road.

One piece of that solution is a new bridge for motorists travelling from westbound to Florida’s Turnpike. The structure should eliminate the weaving at the Florida’s Turnpike interchange and ease congestion along westbound I-595, state officials said. Eventually, after more work, motorists will no longer cross paths with other motorists travelling to the opposite direction as they navigate the busy interchange.

Continued construction through the summer of 2014, will make it difficult to travel the corridor, although disruptions have been minimal considering how much massive work is underway day and night. The project appears to be on schedule.

You can sidestep the worst problems by being aware of precisely when and where work will be concentrated.  That allows you to plan detours or add extra travel time to trips. Also, watch for information on portable message boards posted along the corridor that give motorists a few days’ warning about closings.

An updated map of lane and ramp closures is available online.

 

Phone: 954-357-7005 • Fax: 954-357-7044 • lwexler@broward.org
115 S. Andrews Avenue, Room 437B, Fort Lauderdale FL 33301
Visit my website.

Aide: Margaret Wolter: mwolter@broward.org
Aide: Sandy Yeager: syeager@broward.org
 
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Wm. F. Hirschman at whirschman@broward.org

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