Commission votes on redeveloping Dixie Highway

Posted at 6:40 PM, Mar 14, 2016

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Big changes could be ahead for drivers and cyclists on Dixie Highway in downtown West Palm Beach.

The city commission voted on a resolution at tonight's meeting to redevelop a stretch of the Dixie Corridor.

The next step is to submit an application to the Florida Department of Transportation.

If the project gets approved, redeveloping Dixie Corridor would be paid for with federal gas tax dollars.

Driving along South Dixie Highway LC Trishop manager Jim Graham says it's easy for customers to miss the bicycle shop tucked among five other businesses.

“We have a lot of people that come in and they eventually find us,” said Jim. “They say i've been driving down this street and going past here for the past few months now, i never knew there was a bike shop here.”

He says the owner painted the storefront green for his team-themed color and so it would stand out and bring more customers to his business.

“When people call, look for the big green storefront with the bikes out front, and they're like yup i know exactly where it is,” said Jim.

Jim says he supports a proposal to renovate Dixie Corridor from Okeechobee Boulevard to Albemarle Road. The $3.6 million plan would create bike paths, widen the sidewalks and narrow the highway from four to three lanes with a central turn lane.

But some drivers say Dixie Highway moves way too slowly already.

“I’m completely against it,” said Christian Moreno, a driver in West Palm Beach. “Way too much traffic. People would be stressed out of their minds.”

Driver, Madelin Tundidor, agreed, “You wouldn't be able to make it to work on time with all the traffic.”

Kevin Lawler is on the board of the El Cid Historic Neighborhood Association. He says the plan for Dixie Highway would be safer for everyone.

“The design will slow traffic down, permit easier crossing of Dixie,” said Lawler. “It will serve as a basis to address one of our key long term concerns which is the intrusion of traffic into our neighborhood.”

Changing Dixie highway would require approval from the Florida Department of Transportation. Commissioners will vote this evening on whether to apply for that approval.