Among the key issues facing our maturing downtown are; traffic, parking and a lack of strategic public transportation. A creative example of strategic transportation recently came to our town in the form of The Downtowner. This successful, short-ride service recognized the issues and seized the opportunity that allows passengers to motor around the downtown, and beyond, without the hassle of parking. Another creative opportunity is available to us in the form of a water taxi service on our Intracoastal Waterway. Highly successful in other waterfront areas, this is an idea whose time has come in Boca Raton.
Imagine – You live at any of the number of high rise buildings or neighborhoods in, or near, our downtown, or are a guest at the new Hyatt Place, and want to go to the beach at Red Reef Park or Spanish River Park. Maybe you have family in town and want to go to Gumbo Limbo and show off the fish tanks, turtle rescue and FAU exhibits. With water transportation in the form of a Boca Water Taxi you can enhance the experience and be able to check out any of our waterfront parks – even rent a canoe, kayak or paddle board.
Think of a future that includes the connectivity of; The Waterstone Hotel with its outdoor dining, The Boca Resort, Red Reef Park (with a short walk to Gumbo Limbo), Lake Wyman Park, the yet to be developed Ocean Strand Park, Spanish River Park. Finally, and most crucial to this picture, is the gateway property to the downtown located North of the Palmetto Park Bridge – Our Downtown Waterfront Park with active urban green space and attractions.
Open your mind and imagination to just how functional our Downtown Waterfront Park can be for the thousands that will live or visit in Boca’s downtown.
On November 8th you can vote your imagination – vote Yes on Ordinance 5356 to keep our waterfront parks available for recreation, boating, public gathering places, fun and more.
If you value this opportunity, make plans to attend Council Member Scott Singer’s Visioning Session – September 19th 6:00-8:00 PM, Downtown Public Library.
Here we go again “‘vote Yes on Ordinance 5356 to keep our WATERFRONT PARKS available for recreation”..
Right, because anybody staying at Hyatt Place (a hotel comparable to Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express) will take the water taxi. Wrong, they’ll take their RAV4 parked the building’s garage looking straight onto Palmetto or Federal, and stop at 7-Eleven before going to the beach. Maybe they’re in town or see their children off at FAU? Not quite the upscale image we want for Boca. On the other hand, affluent condo/apartment dwellers will simply walk to the beach as the boat takes the long route. Do you even expect Waterstone/Doubletree to allow a frequent public boat docked at their hotel? What about the bridge openings and how it can affect traffic? Of course, privacy concerns are a major issue, considering the opposition to bringing back kayaking at Lake Wyman. Look at how underutilized Veteran’s Park is in Delray Beach, which also has boat docks. Alas, inflated opposition against Atlantic Crossing is stopping any of said utilization.