Broward News

Progress on Hollywood Beach Quagmire

A trip to the beach is supposed to be relaxing, but if you're driving a car to Hollywood Beach, brace yourself for a stress test. On weekends the roads turn into a parking lot -- ostensibly because there's so few parking lots. Juice described the predicament in a post two weeks ago and we're happy to report that since then measures have been taken that figure to drastically improve traffic in time for Memorial Day. "I'm feeling less frustrated," says the anonymous source whose complaints informed our last blog on the subject.

For starters, Hollywood has finally seen fit to place a traffic cop at A1A's intersection with Garfield, the one-way street that is the only exit from a 350-car parking garage. Previously, traffic on that tiny street would inch along, forced to wait for drivers trying to take a left across the busy four lanes of Ocean Boulevard.

Also, the source reports a parking revelation: the garage at the Ramada Hollywood Beach, at Harrison and Ocean, is rarely full. So drivers unwilling to sit in traffic to park near the Garfield Street garage have another option.

In doing so, those visitors may leave themselves a long walk, which is all the more reason that our Hollywood Beach informant questions the city's unwillingness to make the HOT Express shuttle a permanent -- not seasonal -- feature. Currently, the shuttle goes east from downtown, but our source reasons that another route should go north and south along Ocean, so those who park at the Ramada can easily get to destinations that aren't a short stroll.

But this, apparently, is where the march of progress ends. The Ocean Boulevard shuttle idea has been dismissed as too costly -- this despite the Beach CRA's ongoing, expensive beautification project. "When they say 'funding,' to me that just sounds like it's not a priority," says the source. "Because they can afford to put 50 palm trees on every block."

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Thomas Francis