Cocoa Beach-Cape Canaveral State Road A1A plan hits roadblock

Pedestrians crossing roadway becomes hurdle

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

COCOA BEACH, Fla. - Community leaders in Brevard County are pushing to transform the A1A Highway into a "destination."

[PICS: A1A renderings]

The Florida Department of Transportation has already conducted its studies and is now in the development phase of modernizing a 14-mile stretch of A1A, from Port Canaveral down to the Pineda Causeway.

"This is the tourism center," said Tony Sasso, chairman of the A1A Action Team.  "In many ways, it's the destination of a lot of people around the country."

The project will add landscaping, including grassy areas and palm trees.

It will also improve troubled intersections, like A1A and State Route 520, where drivers are often confused by merges and turn lanes.

Improvements will also be made on bike lanes over the entire stretch of highway, fixing areas where bike lanes vanish into the busy highway.

One item that still needs to be worked out is how to handle pedestrians crossing the roadway.

The traffic volume doesn't meet the Department of Transportation's threshold to add more crosswalks, so Sasso says they're going to build up some of the medians in the high traffic areas to allow people to cross A1A in sections, safely.

"Envision a beatuiful boulevard that we can all be proud of, functions well for everybody," said Sasso.  "You can take a meandering path down the road, and the 'wow' factor, as well."

A public hearing on the project is scheduled for January, and the Department of Transportation could break ground on the project by late next year.

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