Town of Palm Beach News

South County Road Redesign Proposed

Palm Beach Walks, a pedestrian and bicycling group, is proposing a redesign for a section of South County Road. The redesign would stretch from Royal Poinciana Way to Royal Palm Way, as first reported by the Palm Beach Daily News.

The plan is designed to calm traffic. The road, which currently has four lanes, would be reduced to three—a northbound lane, a southbound lane, and a shared left-turn lane. Both shoulders of the road would have a landscaped median and a bicycle lane.

“It beautifies the street, makes it safer for all, and quiets it for abutters,” John David Corey, leader of Palm Beach Walks, told Palm Beach’s Public Safety Committee.

Corey also said that the redesign would allow the curbs to stay intact, occurring within the existing right-of-way.

Since South County Road is a part of State Road A1A, it falls under the authority of the Florida Department of Transportation. Corey told the town’s Public Safety Committee that he wants to ask the Department of Transportation to do the redesign.

South County Road Redesign Proposed

According to Corey, the Federal Highway Administration refers to road narrowing, traffic-claiming projects as a “road diet.”

“They are doing these types of conversions not only in Florida but around the country,” he said.

The three-quarter mile stretch of South County Road under discussion is an important path through the center of Palm Beach. The road provides access to The Breakers, whose guests cross the road as they walk between the hotel campus, golf course, and other destinations.

Breakers President Paul Leone expressed Friday in an email that he was “open to finding ways to make the roadway safer, more pedestrian friendly, and even more attractive.”

In January, a woman was critically injured while walking along South County Road on a Friday night, and concerns about safety have been heightened since the incident.

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The Palm Beach Police Department is investigating the area to find any potential safety issues—lighting, crosswalk timing and visibility, and more.

Committee member Margaret Zeidman said the idea needs a lot more thought.

“The pro is: it calms traffic,” she said. “The con is: it calms traffic. It could slow down traffic to a point where I would be concerned that, at times, we’d be at a standstill.”

Zeidman is also concerned about new safety hazards that could arise with the mix of cars, additional pedestrians, and bicyclists.

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Alanna Barrett

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