Walkability Suggestions: Cut Lane Sizes, Change Street Directions
Jeff Speck with West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio and city staff during a recent tour of downtown West Palm Beach.
May 27, 2014
(West Palm Beach, FL) – Narrow Okeechobee Boulevard, reduce Flagler Drive from five lanes to three lanes, and add bike lanes across the downtown area.
These are some of the recommendations by Jeff Speck, author of the book “Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time.”
Speck was hired by the Downtown Development Authority and the City to analyze the downtown area and recommend changes to make the area more pedestrian-friendly.
The results of Speck’s study, presented Tuesday to the city, included several suggested changes to the downtown area. Among them:
1) Reduce the travel lanes on Okeechobee Boulevard from 12 feet in width to 10 feet, creating room for bike lanes on both sides.
2) Reduce lane width on Tamarind Avenue, allowing for two-way bike lanes on the west side of the street.
3) Change Dixie Highway and Olive Avenue from one-way to two-way roads, allowing some of the traffic signals on both roads to be replaced with 4-way stops.
4) Reduce Flagler Drive from five lanes down to two lanes, adding on-street parking and bike lanes.
5) Building pedestrian bridges crossing the FEC train tracks where the new station will be constructed.
6) Increase the cost of some parking in high-demand areas.
7) Reduce Quadrille Boulevard to create on-street parking.
8) Make several streets in the Northwest two-way roads.
9) Restripe Banyan Boulevard to make room for more parking and bike lanes.
10) Reduce the number of lanes on South Dixie Highway.
Speck’s full study, when completed will be delivered to the City for review. City officials say they are interested in seeing the recommended changes, but are far from making any decisions about whether to implement them.