Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood differ in method to reopen beachfront areas for pedestrians, cyclists

Broward County cyclists may encounter different realities in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood this weekend.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward County cyclists may encounter different realities in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood this weekend.

While Fort Lauderdale is closing the eastern northbound lanes of A1A from Las Olas to Sunrise, Hollywood has closed the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk.

Raelin Storey, a spokesperson for the city of Hollywood, said this is because the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk is adjacent to the beach, so it makes it challenging to open one and not the other.

“My ultimate hope is that we don’t have to do it forever because eventually, we will get to open that beach in a responsible, safe and reasonable way,” said Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Steve Glassman.

White one lane of the road is closed to vehicles, orange and white barricades are up on A1A in Fort Lauderdale to give pedestrians room to walk, for proper social distancing. This will last until 7 p.m. Sunday.

“I am a therapist, a trauma therapist, and I think its really important that people get out and move in the safest way possible, and this just adds to a sense of safety," said Fort Lauderdale resident Estelle Feinberg.

Broward cyclists face different restrictions in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood

Cyclists say it is getting dangerous to bike in areas of Broward. Last weekend, the driver of a pickup truck struck a cyclist on A1A in Hollywood. More people want to be out, but there are fewer places where people can walk, run, or bike safely.

“I think that the broadwalk should be opened as long as the people continue circulating," said Rafael Alves, who lives in Hollywood.

Carrie Becker, a Hollywood resident, agreed with Alves.

“It’d be nice to be able to ride your bike on the road safely without having to worry about the traffic either way,” Becker said.

Officials maintain that until the beaches are reopened, the broadwalk will have to remain closed.

“In Hollywood, because the broadwalk is immediately adjacent to the beach, it makes it challenging to open one, but not the other,” said Hollywood spokesperson Raelin Storey.

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.