By Joe Capozzi

Ocean Ridge town commissioners in June will consider new proposals by a citizens task force for safety measures on and around Old Ocean Boulevard.
Old Ocean Boulevard runs nearly a mile from Corrine Street in Ocean Ridge to Briny Breezes, east of and parallel with State Road A1A. Segments of the Ocean Ridge stretch offer unobstructed views of the ocean, attracting crowds of walkers, bicyclists and skateboarders, along with vehicles.
The task force, convened early this year at the suggestion of Mayor Susan Hurlburt, met twice in April and presented the following safety recommendations to commissioners May 2: 
• Install removable speed humps (not speed bumps) on Adams Road and Beachway Drive — two east-west streets that connect North Ocean Boulevard and Old Ocean Boulevard — and on Old Ocean from Beachway south to Tropical Drive, a stretch that currently has no stop signs. 
• Add signage stating “Residents Only/Local Access Only” at Corinne and Thompson streets, Adams and Beachway. 
• Paint a center line down the length of Old Ocean as a visual reminder for vehicles and bicycles to stay to the right.
• Clear the 5-foot right of way along Old Ocean, in particular the east side of the road where overgrown vegetation doesn’t allow space for pedestrians to move to the side to avoid oncoming traffic. 
• Consider lowering the posted speed limit on Old Ocean to an unusual number that would catch the attention of drivers, such as 13 mph or 16 mph.
The recommendations are just the latest round of ideas for enhancing safety on the road, a topic that has been debated off and on at least since 2007 when a traffic study referred to Old Ocean as the “Jewel of the Town.’’ 
But as nearby developments in Boynton Beach send more and more walkers, bicycles and vehicles onto Old Ocean, many town officials and residents say it’s past time to finally implement a safety plan.  
“Our hope is that the recommendations we listed, along with continued education and enforcement, will ultimately change behaviors and help improve public safety on our ‘Jewel of the Town,’’’ task force chair Carolyn Cassidy told commissioners. 
Cassidy and several other task force members asked commissioners to discuss the recommendations immediately, so the town could earmark money for the safety measures when work starts on the next budget. 
Commissioners, though, said they wanted to think about the proposals first and then discuss them in June at a meeting where other residents could offer ideas. 
Town officials plan to come up with rough cost estimates for the recommendations for commissioners to discuss at their next meeting, at 5 p.m. June 6. The town’s first budget meeting is the same day at 2 p.m.

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Comments

  • Safety plan?  Sounds like a "keep the folks from Boynton out plan".   Give the Old Ocean right of way back to the homeowners.  Turn it into private property and cancel any access to strangers.  That's where this is headed.  

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