GULF STREAM, Fla. - One of the most popular cycling routes in southern Palm Beach County may also be the most dangerous.
Designated bike lanes along State Road A1A give cyclists protection; but only in some locations. The lanes simply do not exist along the entire stretch.
Bicyclists may be few and far between after dark, but anyone who travels State Road A1A anytime during the day will see teams of cyclists. They say love biking this stretch of roadway - and they want to do it safely. Bike lanes certainly help drivers keep their distance. But there are gaps in the bike lanes where the road becomes too narrow.
"Anybody who's done this enough has got close calls," said Jon Berman, a cyclist from Boca Raton who is a plastic surgeon by day. Berman said that he has seen too many of his fellow cyclists on his operating table. "I'm a little bit more gun shy than a lot of people, so I'm more aware," he said.
Law enforcement in the coastal towns has ramped up enforcement to help keep everyone who is using this road safe. But cyclists say constructing bike lanes - from end to end - is the best option.
"It's gotten better and then it's gotten worse," said Bruce Rosenzweig of Highland Beach.
FDOT has plans to construct some additional bike lanes on the roadway, but the projects will take time and money. Another hurdle slowing that plan is that some residents in these communities oppose widening State Road A1A for any reason.