The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author in his personal capacity and do not necessarily represent the opinions or the views of the city of Palm Coast or the Palm Coast City Council.
Question from Flagler for Better Governance (Facebook account): When can we expect better traffic light cycles in Palm Coast? Seems the rapid development wouldn’t be as big of a problem if our lights were better at moving traffic along.
Thank you for sharing your concerns about traffic light cycles in Palm Coast, Flagler for Better Governance. I completely understand how efficient traffic flow is crucial, especially with the ongoing development in our city.
I'd like to add that our city's traffic management team has made significant improvements to our traffic signal operation over the past few years, with more enhancements in the pipeline. These timing adjustments aim to keep traffic flowing smoothly and reduce congestion.
However, we understand that sometimes timing changes alone may not suffice. That's why we have various plans in the works, such as the reconstruction of six intersections on Belle Terre Parkway, widening Old Kings Road from Kings Way to Frontier Boulevard, and adding intersection improvements to the entire Whiteview corridor. Additionally, FDOT will be implementing a construction project on Moody Boulevard, including sidewalk enhancements and improved intersections.
Our city’s traffic team is constantly working within budget constraints to enhance your driving experience, making it safer and more enjoyable. Your feedback is incredibly valuable in this ongoing process, so please don't hesitate to report specific concerns through Palm Coast Connect (palmcoast.gov/connect), and we'll do our best to ensure that our city's traffic lights serve our community efficiently. Thank you for playing an active role in making Palm Coast an even better place to live and drive.
Question from Jeffrey Hanyon: I would like to know when the city is going to curb the use of electric bikes on city sidewalks. There are signs [stating] motor vehicles prohibited, but the use of electric vehicles is increasing.
Mr. Hanyon, I do appreciate your concern and interest in the use of electric bikes on city sidewalks here in Palm Coast. It's great to see our community members actively engaged in these matters, and safety is always our top priority.
I want to provide you with some information regarding the use of electric bicycles in Florida, as it might shed some light on the situation. Under Florida Statute 316.20655, it is stated that "an electric bicycle or an operator of an electric bicycle shall be afforded all the rights and privileges, and be subject to all of the duties, of a bicycle or the operator of a bicycle, including s. 316.2065. An electric bicycle is a vehicle to the same extent as a bicycle."
This means that, according to state law, electric bikes are considered bicycles and can be used on the sidewalks and in bike lanes where regular bicycles are allowed. However, this also implies that municipalities, like Palm Coast, have the authority to create ordinances and regulations that govern the use of electric bikes on sidewalks and other public spaces.
Currently, the city is working with the River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization and the Florida Department of Transportation to seek their recommendations and input on the use of electric bikes on Palm Coast trails. This collaborative approach ensures that any decisions made are well-informed and consider the safety and convenience of all residents.
While electric bikes are growing in popularity, it's crucial to strike a balance that allows for their use while also ensuring the safety and comfort of pedestrians on sidewalks. The ongoing discussions and cooperation with relevant organizations will help determine the best course of action for our community.
Thank you for bringing up this important topic, and your input is valued in the ongoing efforts to make our city a safe and accessible place for all residents.
Mayor David Alfin's weekly column in the Observer addresses resident questions on city government. Email your questions to Managing Editor Jonathan Simmons at [email protected].