WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Major changes will soon be coming to a 1.4-mile stretch of S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach.
The Florida Department of Transportation says the project is not expected to break ground until Spring 2021, but the goal is to improve walkability in the area, as well as provide more on-street parking.
“In the five years I’ve been here, it’s grown leaps and bounds. I mean, even in the past couple of years with the restaurants in our plaza alone, we’ve picked up business quite a bit,” said LC Tri Shop manager Jim Graham.
Despite the growth in recent years, the accessibility has stayed the same, leaving what many feel is insufficient parking and not enough sidewalk space for those wanting to enjoy the area.
“A lot of people are walking across these streets. There’s a lot of residential area right behind us here so if people are leaving a restaurant and walking home going across the street absolutely I think it’s pretty dangerous,” said Peter Stampone.
Stampone says he is in favor of the FDOT project, especially if it includes slowing the speed in the area from the current 35 mph.
“As you can see the people kind of fly by down this road,” said Stampone.
FDOT is wanting to eliminate the current four-lane street down to a two-lane roadway with a two-way center left turn lane along with wider sidewalks and on-street parking.
“It’s going to make pedestrian traffic a lot easier to flow from downtown further out to make things more accessible,” said Graham.
FDOT is holding an open house Tuesday night to help answer questions about the changes. Currently, the plans call for construction to begin in the spring of 2021 with a tentative completition date for spring of 2023.
If you want to attend the FDOT meeting, it will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Howard Park Community Center off Parker Avenue.