Exciting news coming out of the City of West Palm Beach – for 5 months from October 7th till March 18th 2018, the City will be transforming the two east lanes of Flagler Drive from Lake Avenue to Banyan Boulevard (.6 miles) to expand the waterfront public space for pedestrians, bicyclists, and merchants, as well as allow for additional programming.

Called “Flagler Shore: From Pavement to People,” the project will repurpose two lanes on Flagler Drive from Lake Avenue to Banyan Boulevard (.6 miles) to expand the waterfront public space for pedestrians, bicyclists, and merchants, as well as allow for additional programming. Flagler Drive will be reduced from four lanes to two lanes (keeping both southbound and northbound traffic flow) for the duration of the five-month project that will begin on Saturday, October 7, 2017 during the season opening of the West Palm Beach GreenMarket and run through March 1, 2018. Flagler Shore continues the effort to make the West Palm Beach waterfront an active and vibrant public space and takes into account the findings of recent studies by the Gehl Institute, the Shore to Core design contest with the Van Alen Institute, and the walkability study by Jeff Speck.

Downtowners working with Jeff Speck on the 2014 walkability plan

The project will provide 63,000 sq. ft. of newly claimed public space along the West Palm Beach waterfront that will be repurposed in a variety of ways to be more actively used on a daily basis. The new design will feature colorful seating including benches, bistro tables and chairs that can be easily moved for those seeking a shaded area. The expanded area also will allow residents and visitors to enjoy new and fluid programming along the waterfront including street performers, new street vendors and more public art.

“West Palm Beach residents spoke about their desire for more public space along the waterfront, and we listened,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “Flagler Shore is an exciting and creative initiative that will open up the waterfront for everyone to enjoy and improve the quality of life in West Palm Beach. We are so happy to be able to launch this project that gives space back to the public.”

Bill Bone leading a bike ride through the temporary bike lanes on Flagler Drive

“This is a great first step in implementing what the experts have recommended for our downtown and waterfront areas and improving public life in this area of critical importance for the City,” said Chris Roog, West Palm Beach Director of Economic Development. “We are looking forward to executing the new design and assessing what works for our City, residents and merchants, while continuing to create a dynamic waterfront.”

Intersections along Flagler Drive will include large decorative potted planters with safety measures to redirect traffic and directional signs.

Art painted on a shipping container to block the east lanes of Flager Dr. from car traffic

After the City launches the new Flagler Shore waterfront space, data will be collected to evaluate key points of the design including number of pedestrians, bicyclists and cars; to understand where seating is moved throughout the day; and to assess how the expanded space is used during events. The project will allow the City to examine the viability of expert recommendations along with alternative designs to the waterfront without spending millions of dollars, all while providing important information that will ultimately help determine any permanent redesign of the waterfront in the future.

To find out more about the city’s Flagler Shore project, to find the latest updates and activities, or to submit questions/comments, please call (561) 822-2222 or visit www.wpb.org/flaglershore.