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Pedestrian bridge recommended for Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach

Downtown residents say roadway dangerous to cross
Posted at 11:23 PM, Dec 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 08:21:23-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Okeechobee Boulevard runs east-west through West Palm Beach. Day or night, residents in the downtown area told WPTV it's dangerous to cross.

As a visitor from Chicago, Cory Ebert said to get across at the intersection of Rosemary Avenue and Okeechobee with a family of four, it's important to pay attention.

"You've got a four-lane road," he said. "It's 45 mph, the signals are short and there are two parts to it."

The dangers of this thruway reared its ugly head Sunday night when a 4-year-old boy was struck by a hit-and-run driver.

The child was with his father and three other children, trying to cross the eastbound lanes just after 8 p.m. Nearby surveillance cameras captured the crash.

A witness, who identified himself only as Mike, said he was out walking his dog at the time of the incident.

"I closed my eyes and I wished I hadn't done that because instead of seeing it, I hear it," he said. "He hit the kid."

Mike would like to see a frequent and sustained patrol of the area near the convention center.

But there's also the thought of implementing a pedestrian bridge on Okeechobee Boulevard.

A study commissioned by the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council suggests a bridge that would connect the Palm Beach County Convention Center to the Kravis Center and the Square.

Ebert said the bridge is a smart move.

"I would be up for the idea," he said.

His wife said people really need to be cautious.

"I just think about being more cautious and just having to be aware of your surroundings," Sara Ebert said.

The child was taken to a hospital in critical condition and had surgery Monday.

Authorities are looking for a white four-door sedan that left the scene.