The Coastal Star

Letter to the Editor: Urban trail will bring ruination to east Delray Beach

Our “Village by the Sea” is being placed at risk by Delray Resolution 71-015, unanimously adopted by the City Commission in December.     The resolution commits the city to a 3,000-mile “urban Appalachian Trail” that connects 15 states along the East Coast of the U.S. for non-motorized travelers. This will require 8- to 10-foot pathways along A1A in Delray Beach and the adjoining barrier island communities.
    City officials told The Coastal Star, shortly after passage, that “sidewalks would be striped to create separate lanes for pedestrians and bicycles” and the passed resolution “will allow us (the city) to get grants.”
    Even though city officials claim the resolution “means nothing,” the clear and unambiguous 3.1-mile route along A1A will extend approximately 6.3 miles between the north and south city limits, from Federal Highway, down George Bush Boulevard to A1A, and southward to Highland Beach, including the 7/10th-mile in front of the new beach pavilion at A1A and Atlantic.
    This new Beach Property Owners Association-supported pavilion will become a grant development-supported casualty. Every transient from Maine to Key West will be able to stop for a rest before dumping trash in our front yards, relieving themselves in our shrubbery, and sleeping on the beach.
    We are of the opinion that the 3,000-mile pathway through all major East Coast urban areas will:
    • Bring thousands of backpackers and transients to warm Florida in season, by bike, foot, thumb or bus, for a hike/bike down our 300 miles of oceanfront. They will bring sleeping bags for beaches and shovels in backpacks for beach-gardens directly along our existing sidewalks.
    • Be directed through the heart of Delray’s beach area along A1A and front doorsteps on George Bush Boulevard.
    • Increase traffic backups at A1A and Linton Boulevard. More pedestrians and bikers mean more activation of pedestrian lights, slowing traffic.
    • Be dangerous to pedestrians and beachgoers, children and elderly as the “shared use” will be confusing.
    • Require sidewalks be widened to create separate lanes for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles.
    • Become another overdevelopment effort to get grant money for the city. Who will pay for the portable toilets and trash barrels?
    • Once “grant” money is accepted, the city will lose control and the grantors’ camel will have his nose under the tent. Soon the pathways will come all the way down A1A.
    • Devalue properties. The “urban” pathway will greatly devalue the beachfront homes, condos, apartments, hotels, and business properties that contribute a significant portion of Delray’s revenues.
    • Risk converting the new pavilion into a rest area for thousands of urban backpacking hikers and bikers, as well as being joined by our very own congregating drug-rehabbers.
    We need an immediate repeal of 71-015. Please contact all commissioners now, before it is too late!

John G. Carier, Mike Owen, Frederick Taubert and Evan Morris
Ocean Blvd. residents,
Delray Beach

Editor’s Note:
The Delray Beach commission has agreed to revisit the Greenway resolution at a July meeting.

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