Will infrastructural improvements make West Palm Beach safer?
Some sections of West Palm Beach have had a history of serious and fatal crashes. One road that has gained the attention of safety advocates is Broadway.
According to the Palm Beach Post, many of the crashes that occur on Broadway involve pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers making left turns.
Engineers seek to make Broadway safer
West Palm Beach engineers seek to narrow a dangerous mile-long stretch of Broadway to improve safety for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. In addition, the plan would include:
- Wider sidewalks for pedestrians
- Separated bike lanes
- Improved lighting
- Highly-visible crosswalks
Since Broadway is a section of U.S. Route 1, it is overseen by the Florida Department of Transportation. While several state and local agencies have set aside millions of dollars to make infrastructural improvements, the project must win state approval.
If approved, the project will involve reducing four lanes down to two from 25th Street to 45th. In addition, the project would add a middle lane for turning and medians.
The plan for Broadway mirrors that of one currently to be constructed on South Dixie Highway/U.S. 1 (from Okeechobee Boulevard south to Albemarle Road), which is also a crash-prone roadway.
Why does infrastructure matter for road safety?
Roadway infrastructure isn't necessarily the cause of traffic collisions, but poorly designed road can be a contributing factor.
The problem with the current infrastructure is that it usually only accommodates high-speed vehicular traffic. Pedestrians and bicyclists are often left to fend for themselves on major roads and at intersections. Furthermore, poorly-designed roadway infrastructure can increase the likelihood of crashes being serious or fatal.
The real cause of crashes is human error. Those who drive distracted or speed on poorly-designed roads are more likely to hit pedestrians or bicyclists, or causes collisions. Drivers who are drowsy or impaired by alcohol or drugs are less likely to navigate poorly-designed roads safely.
While the actions of drivers are the true cause of crashes, improvements to infrastructure could mitigate the severity of them.
West Palm Beach attorney serving crash victims
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash caused by someone else's negligent or reckless behavior, it's critical that you get legal help. Attorney David J. Glatthorn can investigate the cause of your crash, as well as the infrastructure where it occurred. He can also help you build a solid legal claim and negotiate for a fair financial settlement so you don't have to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages out-of-pocket.