By Jane Smith
Delray Beach will join cities from Maine to Key West to create an “Urban Appalachian Trail.”
At their Dec. 8 meeting, city commissioners unanimously approved the designation of the route along Federal Highway to George Bush Boulevard and along A1A to Highland Beach.
“The designation will allow us to get grants,” said Randal Krejcarek, environmental services director. He also said the city has a local initiatives grant that can be used to add George Bush Boulevard to the trail.
The East Coast Greenway currently connects cities in 15 Atlantic coastal states, with a goal of creating a 3,000-mile “spine route” from Maine to Florida. The Greenway would create an urban trail that can be used for recreation, exercise, transportation and tourism.
The Florida Department of Transportation will be the next approval needed because it owns most of the right of way along those roads.
Delray Beach has 3.1 miles of sidewalk that is 9.6 feet wide along the ocean and can be used as the trail for pedestrians and bicyclists, Krejcarek said. The sidewalks would have to be striped to create separate lanes for pedestrians and bicyclists.
City staffers would work with the Greenway Alliance to post markers along the route to identify the trail as part of the national urban Greenway.
In other action: The city’s employee parking pilot program was pulled from the agenda. City Manager Don Cooper later said the reason was over county concerns about its garage. The program calls for downtown employees to use the South County Courthouse garage in the off hours, a total of 350 spaces at a cost of $20 monthly per vehicle.
Cooper said the program may come back in late January for commission approval or be incorporated into the city’s overall parking program. Ú