Pensacola projects aim to make city safer for walkers, bicyclists

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Local and state projects are in the works to make North Palafox Street and West Cervantes Street safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.

“Just because a man’s in a car doesn’t mean he’s really going to stop,” Angela Moore said. “He could press the accelerator and mow you down.”

Moore walks along West Cervantes every day and said she only walks in the crosswalks and has almost been hit by cars before.

“I go to cross and a car making a right turn on red comes that close to mowing me down on the street,” Moore said. “God was with me. I took one step back and it saved my life.”

This comes just over a year after a woman and an eight-month-old baby were run over and killed by a hit-and-run driver at Cervantes and M Street.

The Florida Department of Transportation is working on a $7.5 million project to bring more crosswalks, a raised median and more lighting to the area.

There is a workshop for the public to learn more and make comments on this FDOT project on July 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Brownsville Community Center.

Construction starts next week on another project by the City of Pensacola that aims to make North Palafox Street more bicycle-friendly.

“It’s great,” Eric Hollman said. “We definitely need more bike lanes and more awareness from drivers to know they need to share the roads with us.”

Hollman owns a bike store, Bikes Plus, downtown on Palafox and he said he’s seeing growing demand.

“The city’s definitely gotten a lot better the last couple of years,” Hollman said. “There’s a lot more awareness. People have seen more bicycles downtown.”

Starting Monday, crews will add bicycle lanes on the outside of Palafox between Cervantes and Wright Street. Travel lanes for vehicles will be reduced to just two lanes from four. They will also add parallel parking. They will also make the stretch of Palafox between Wright and Garden Street a “share road” for both drivers and bicyclists.

Both Moore and Hollman agree these improvements should be made but drivers should pay more attention on the road.

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