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Revisiting Palmetto Park Road widening

The prospect of widening Palmetto Park Road could be back on the table.

A former city council nixed Palm Beach County’s plan to widen that east-west road a decade ago.

But three proposed widenings surfaced on the county’s 2045 long-range transportation projects in Boca:

·    Six to eight lanes along 1-mile from Military Trail to 12th Street

·    Four to six lanes along 1.2 miles from 12th Street to Southwest Third Avenue

·    Six to eight lanes along 0.4 miles from St. Andrews Boulevard to Military Trail

City council had a first look at 10 proposed road widenings in Boca at Monday’s workshop. But only two are really on the radar, county road officials said: Clint Moore Road from Jog Road to Military Trail and Palmetto from Military Trail to 12th Street.

The rest could stay or go. And nothing would be done without community input and a cost analysis, said county engineer David Ricks.

“This is just a planning document; nothing is set in stone,” Ricks said.

But despite the uncertainty, council was not reassured.

“We do not want to widen Palmetto Park Road. We don’t want to do eight lanes,” Mayor Scott Singer said. He asked for any future plans to include city input.

“We don’t see the solution as putting more asphalt on the road. What we need are more bike lanes,” said councilwoman Andrea Levine O’Rourke, who chairs the downtown district.

Long-range road plans are based on commuting habits, county officials said.

“Ninety-percent of your workforce is driving in,” and live elsewhere, noted assistant county administrator Todd Bonlarron. “How do we maintain the system around that and the growth in the cities on the east?”

By Marci Shatzman

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