Saturday, March 2

Delray Beach plan to invest more than $100 million to improve pedestrian, bicyclist safety

The Delray Beach City Council addressed safety on its streets Thursday, specifically for people riding bikes or on foot.

The city has a plan they hope will stop crashes like the one that injured multiple bicyclists in the nearby town of Gulf Stream.

Officials said the plan is to invest more than $100 million to make it safer for pedestrians.

A recent study found some problem areas have occurred along Atlantic Avenue but also parts of A1A.

During a workshop meeting, the city went over its bicycle and pedestrian master plan.

The study is based on five years of crash data from 2016 to 2021 and found there were two deadly bike crashes and seven pedestrian crashes.

“That bike traffic isn’t going anywhere,” Delray Beach Mayor Shelly Petrolia said. “I want to make sure Delray Beach offers a safe passageway through our city.”

After Thursday’s crash in Gulf Stream, Petrolia said it’s time to prioritize the roads on A1A.

“It’s not like the bike traffic is doing the right thing up there either,” Petrolia said. “They take up the entire road in a pack and it aggravates people who are driving, especially if they are trying to get somewhere, so there has to be some rules of the road and probably there needs to be some enforcement.”

There are 16.4 miles of bicycle lanes mostly in eastern parts of the city, but the plan is to raise it to 52.5 miles in western streets where they’ve seen higher speeds of traffic.

“I think having a very walkable city and having multimodal transportation is crucial to an evolving city,” Delray Beach Deputy Vice Mayor Rob Long said. “I think that all the studies show that it leads to increased quality of life for residents and folks who are visiting, so I certainly see a need for that. I think there’s a major economic benefit.”

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