Flagler Bridge update


In February 2015, I sent a letter to FDOT requesting that the new Flagler Bridge design comply with new guidelines for buffered bike lanes (at a minimum). This was after a series of blog posts written by another contributor to the blog, which discussed how to make Flagler Bridge a better, safer link between the island of Palm Beach and West Palm Beach by including a protected bike lane.

In June, FDOT District 4 replied and agreed to modify the original design to accommodate buffered bike lanes on the bridge. As we reported at the time:

Mr. Bailey,

We appreciate your interest in the bike facilities on the Flagler Bridge project.  The project team has reviewed your February 14, 2015 request and will implement the following lane configuration. A depiction is shown in the attached bridge typical section.

  • Reduce the vehicle travel lanes from four-12ft lanes to four-11ft lanes.  This will align with the proposed 11ft lanes east and west of the bridge.  This change provides an added benefit of increased space for bicyclists near the drainage inlets that collect storm water runoff from the bridge.
  • Provide a 2.5ft striped buffer between the travel lanes and bike lane.
  • Provide a 6ft bike lane.
  • Provide a “gutter stripe” 1.5ft from the roadway side of the barrier wall located between the bike lane and the sidewalk.

Thank you again for your continued interest in the successful completion of the Flagler Bridge project.  If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Jim Hughes, the Department’s project manager, at 954-777-4419 or via email at james.hughes@dot.state.fl.us.

Gerry O’Reilly, PE
District Four Secretary
Florida Department of Transportation

The new bridge just opened. Here is what the new bridge section looks like at this stage:


You might be wondering where the buffered bike lanes are. I spoke with a construction foreman at the site, and he said this is just the first phase of the bridge reopening. A second phase will restripe the bridge lanes and will include buffered bike lanes, I’m happy to report.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!


  1. Rob

    Just spent my second day casually cycling (no lycra) around Palm Beach and WPB, and across Royal Palm Bridge and Flagler (Royal Poinciana).
    Royal Palm: Why can’t Royal Palm have a Jersey Barrier separating the cars from the bike lane? So easy…. Most people on bikes were using the pedestrian walkways, which had the concrete separation.
    Flagler: Rode on the pedestrian walkway today because there is NOTHING for the bicyclist in terms of protection. At the bottom, the lights for the crosswalks are incredibly long waits. Even the cops stationed there on foot (for Trump?) seemed perplexed at the length of the wait.
    I know FDOT is in the dark ages, but can’t they recognize that a concrete barrier or curb or armadillo or even plastic flex posts would really encourage people to bicycle?
    Oh and message to Palm Beach City: get onboard with WPB’s bikeshare program. It is real and it is spectacular, but it doesn’t reach Palm Beach.

  2. Completely agree, Rob. The good news is the Flagler Bridge will have a pretty decent dedicated space for bicycles, but like you I wish it were physically protected. FDOT still in the stone ages there. Even their new Complete Streets manual won’t have any guidance on protected bike lanes on bridges.

    I’ll pass the comment on to Juan at SkyBike. The obstacle there seems to be the town of Palm Beach.

    Thanks for the comment.

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