Robert and Gigi Negron of Section 5 enjoy walking along the bikeway with their children and their friends.

The bikeway in the Woodlands is done and it’s fun. If you wake up very early you’ll see walkers, runners and bicyclists. When the weather heats up, the activity slows down until the evening when residents once more enjoy taking a stroll.

The bikeway project from inception to completion took a year and a half and seemed like a long and frustrating wait, but now the lanes on Woodlands Boulevard are restriped walking is safer.

I’m sure once our four lane boulevard turned into two became a challenge for some of the drivers. After the bikeway was completed, I would watch cars come down the road and straddle the bikeway….not sure where to drive.  Now, it seems as though many people are now used to driving on it.

It was because of the residents that were committed in finding a safer solution to walking along the boulevard that our community was able to initiate change. What had started as an unfortunate tragedy has resulted in safety and enjoyment for everyone.

Here is a timeline of our bikeway and what transpired between our residents, WHOA and the City of Tamarac.

Smile Dentistry

The Accident

November 17, 2010

Dear Neighbor:

On Monday evening at approximately 7pm there was an accident on Woodlands Blvd involving a pedestrian who is one of our neighbors. BSO will only confirm the incident and not release more details, so this is all that I can post at this time (I will only share the name of the person injured if I get permission from that person).    A day after the accident, BSO put a flashing sign up on Woodlands Boulevard warning drivers to move over for pedestrians.

Exercising along Woodlands Boulevard is a scenic route especially if you are a walker, runner or biker.   You can understand the challenges you are faced when encountering a driver that does not pay attention or does not move over for you.     Please don’t forget to wear reflective clothing at dusk and dawn or carry a flashlight.    Busy season is upon us and there will be more traffic than normal on all of our streets.

In the past, The City of Tamarac had proposed that they would change Woodlands Blvd into a street that will have 1 large traffic lane on each side and a smaller marked pedestrian lane on the outside.     This proposal would eliminate the double lanes, and dangerous passing we have now and give a safe, marked area on the smaller outer lane for pedestrians.     From what I understand from those that have spoken to the city about this is that they will do this for free.   The only thing we would need is a vote from our WHOA in favor of it.    If this is something that you would be interested in, please contact your section president to see that this is discussed at your next meeting.
Please let me know if you have any more information about our neighbor and I will post it soon.

The Vote

December 16, 2010

The Woodlands Homeowners Association voted to create pedestrian lanes on Woodlands Boulevard on Monday, December 13, 2010 at their monthly meeting.    The vote included Officers and Section Presidents.

Several years ago, the City of Tamarac offered our community this option, however, the WHOA never went forward with it.     It was placed on the December WHOA agenda by residents, possibly due in response to the neighbor who was severely injured by a vehicle a few weeks ago.   This accident shocked many residents, but didn’t surprise the people that walk or run on the boulevard who have had close calls with vehicles.

City Meets with Residents

April 5, 2011

These riders are enjoying the bikeway but seem to be going in the wrong direction. Bicycles should go with the flow of traffic. Walkers will go against the flow of traffic.

On Monday evening, the City of Tamarac invited residents whose homes abutted Woodlands Boulevard to discuss the creation of a bike lane on both sides of the road.   Director of Community Development, Jennifer Bramley, Commissioner Michelle Gomez, Public Works Director Jack Strain and City Manager Michael Cernech attended.

Only two residents showed up!

These two residents were also joined by new WHOA President Patti Fox, who wanted to know more about how the lane changes will affect the community.

Many years ago, the city looked into creating sidewalks along the boulevard.  Residents on Woodlands Boulevard were against this proposal, so they never moved forward with it.   A few years later, there are younger, more active people moving into the Woodlands who are using the boulevard everyday:   Moms with strollers, pet owners, runners, walkers and bicyclists, despite the fact that it can be a  safety hazard when motorists are speeding or passing other cars.

Unfortunately last fall, one of our residents was hit by a car on the boulevard which got the ball rolling again about getting some sort of protected area for the residents.   Residents took the idea of the bike lane to our WHOA, who in turn, voted to move forward with it.   They proposed it to the city who ordered a traffic study.   The traffic study showed that the amount of traffic that uses Woodlands Boulevard each day doesn’t justify having four lanes.

The City has proposed the following:

Each lane is currently 11 feet across on both sides of the street: One Lane will be increased to 14 feet across, and the bikeway lane will be 8 feet across.  These will be re marked on both sides with new striping and reflectors.

bikeway striping

The city also sees this as a traffic calming change. Cars are currently speeding down Woodlands Boulevard making walking dangerous.   Cars that try to pass on the narrow lanes make it even more dangerous and some of our wildlife have been the victims of speeding cars.

The city will hear additional input from residents at the District meeting on April 6th and at the Woodlands meeting on April 14th.

They don’t anticipate traffic issues with service companies such as delivery people and garbage trucks, as they will be able to pull into the bikeway to allow cars to go around them.   Even though it is called a “bikeway,” golf carts, walkers, runners and all pedestrians are allowed to use it and no one is going to be cited if they are not on a bike.

Get your walking shoes ready.   If the city receives positive feedback about the bikeway,  they said it could take a month or so before they get started on the project, which would just require re marking the roadways.  The roads have been resurfaced in the past few years so no new asphalt needs to be applied.

Updates from the Commissioner

February 9, 2012

Woodlands Annual Homeowners Association Meeting 2012

Commissioner Michelle Gomez updated the community on the landscaping improvements on Commercial Blvd across from the Woodlands Blvd entrance and how the city is maintaining it as well as the front fountain repair.    The new bike lane which started in March of 2011, will be completed in May 2012.   This is only involves re-striping the lanes, but will require some changes to our main entrance.

The Excitement for Work to Begin…..after a year

March 30, 2012

Though it came at the high price of a pedestrian first having to get injured while walking along Woodlands Boulevard, I must admit I was excited to learn that The Woodlands would finally be getting a much-needed, dedicated bike path.

The city announced its intention to go forward with the HOA-requested project in April of 2011. I waited patiently, only periodically bugging my wife Sharon for updates. Even she, with her infinite knowledge of all things Tamarac, could tell me very little in terms of when the project would commence.

It seemed to take forever to get the bikeway completed

So it was with great surprise and delight that I noticed, almost a year later, that a sign near the main entrance announced that the work would start on March 28th. This was no rinky-dink little sign either. It was one of those big, programmable signs with the orange letters usually reserved for only important messages about road closures and the like.  You knew the city meant business when they dragged this thing over.

As I left for work on the morning of the 28th, I envisioned the upcoming hordes of city workers, asphalt trucks, and lane painting machines all working in tandem, up and down the boulevard. I prepared myself mentally for the inconvenience of all the work to be done knowing that it would be only temporary. I took delight in the thought that I would not have to constantly look behind me for cars as my family and I take walks along the boulevard.

Then when I got home that evening, I noticed nothing had been changed. And the next day, the same thing. And today, even worse; the sign was gone too.

Oh city of Tamarac, please don’t tell me this was all part of some early April fools joke. Only time will tell. We’ve managed to wait this long, what’s another a few week’s delay, right?

In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to keep looking over my shoulder…

Front entrance is completed and restriping is underway

April 20, 2012

Restriping lanes

The Woodlands bikeway is underway as the new striping is currently being installed.   Workers with High Tech Striping of Medley, Florida were working hard and making sure the lines were measured accurately before painting the roads.

The project will be complete next week as more bicycle markers and reflectors are added to each bike lane.

So get ready to have safer bike rides, as well as walks down our busiest street.

Author Profile

Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron created the Woodlands Tamarac in 2010 for original News for the community. In 2011 she went on to create Tamarac Talk, in 2012, Coral Springs Talk and 2017, Parkland Talk.

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2 Responses to "The Woodlands Bikeway: Bringing Residents Outside to Safely Walk and Ride"

  1. Wow that bike lane is a fantastic addition to our community, I can never seem to get on it with all the crazy traffic?
    Iv’e seen one roller blader in 80’s denim shorts and a kid walking home from school, great use of our tax dollars

    • Adam,

      You must not get up very early in the morning. The walkers are up and down the bikeway every non-raining day.

      In the evenings, they come out again. It’s sporadic, and thankfully now our residents have a safe place to walk and ride.

      Come outside one morning and take a walk and say hi to your neighbors. It’s great for dog-walking as well!

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