Delray Beach is on the verge of becoming a premier destination for walkers and cyclists, thanks to a groundbreaking Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan. After two years of meticulous planning and public consultation, the city's Planning and Zoning Board was presented with this ambitious plan on December 18.

Crafted by TYLin International, the plan is a product of extensive technical analysis and community input. Vikas Jain, representing the engineering firm, emphasized the plan’s focus on creating a safe, convenient, and connected network for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities.

Currently, Delray Beach boasts a 16.4-mile bicycle network, not including the 10 miles of shared-use paths in construction or planning stages. The proposed master plan aims to expand this network to an impressive 52.5 miles, marking a 199% increase in the existing and programmed network for cyclists.

Key features of the plan include the addition of 4 miles of separated bike lanes, 16.1 miles of buffered bike lanes, 12.1 miles of bike lanes, and 8.8 miles of shared-use paths. Enhancements like permeable pavement and decorative lighting in alleys are also part of the proposal.

The city’s current pedestrian infrastructure includes 59.8 miles of sidewalks. The new plan proposes an expansion of 18.9 miles and additional enhancements like buffers, totaling 7.2 miles. This includes 6.6 miles of one-sided sidewalk, 5.8 miles on both sides, and 8.2 miles of shared-use paths.

The financial scope of the project is substantial, with bicycle improvements estimated at around $103 million and sidewalk enhancements at about $15.5 million, based on the Florida Department of Transportation’s cost-per-mile model.

Funding sources under consideration include federal grants like the Department of Transportation’s Safe Streets and Roads for All program, Florida’s Safe Routes to School program, and local initiatives like the Transportation Alternatives Program and State Road Modification Program.

The plan not only aims to boost Delray Beach’s economic development and livability but also emphasizes collaboration with various agencies, interest groups, and residents. Jain highlighted the importance of a collaborative process, considering the improvements span across city, county, and state roadways.

Public involvement has been integral from the outset, with focus group meetings, a project website, and an online survey garnering about 200 location-specific responses since spring 2022. The plan also incorporates enhancements like art and mural walks, historical bike tours, enhanced safety lighting, bicycle parking, and comprehensive wayfinding and signage.

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