In response to a letter in the April issue of The Coastal Star calling for the installation of crosswalks in South Palm Beach, I would ask the following questions: Placed where? And leading where?

Unlike the west side of A1A, there is no shared path on the east side of the road, meaning that pedestrians would have to walk across unstable, often soaked grass lawns to arrive at their destination, or along the road, increasing the risk of being struck by a vehicle. 

It is highly unlikely that pedestrians would traverse an additional distance to arrive at a crosswalk, then double back along an unstable surface to arrive at their building. The only alternative, although completely impractical, would be to have crosswalks leading to each building on the east side of A1A.

A concern at least equal to that of jaywalking involves cyclists riding two and three abreast, often at a high rate of speed, in the narrow shoulder at the edge of the road. In addition to forcing motorists to veer into the oncoming traffic lane, which is inherently hazardous, the condition poses a risk to pedestrians. In fact, some years ago The Coastal Star posted a tongue-in-cheek article wherein their reporter described her harrowing bike ride along A1A, between Delray Beach and Lake Worth Beach.

Unfortunately, these issues all tie into the fact that we are experiencing a post-pandemic influx of year-round residents in an area where the infrastructure is not prepared to handle the load. This has affected and will continue to affect everything from traffic patterns on a town level to overtaxing of plumbing and electrical systems, parking availability and security in individual buildings.

Those of us who have lived in South Palm Beach have seen an onslaught of new arrivals to the point where there is little difference between the high and off seasons. As statistics would dictate, more people means more bicycles, more transients in the form of guests and visitors, more pets and unfortunately more unwanted incidents. 

While the recent hit and run in South Palm Beach was tragic, we need to plan for the future in a comprehensive manner that makes long-term sense, avoiding knee-jerk solutions.

— Richard Klein
South Palm Beach

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