One of South Florida’s very popular downtown destinations, Delray Beach, is well known for its overcrowding and traffic delays. The beach plans to curb these issues by implementing seven new zones, off of Atlantic Avenue, for rideshare drivers to drop off their passengers and deliveries. From now on, anyone who is using a rideshare service, like Uber or Lyft, will be required to get in or out of the vehicle only in the designated zones, which are about a block off of the city’s main avenue, during the peak hours of 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.. Signs clearly mark the pick-up/drop off zones, and rideshare apps will now tell local riders where to wait for pick up.
Not all rideshare users are thrilled about the new zoning. “One of the many bonuses for me to take an Uber downtown is that it drops me off in front of my exact location,” said Lori Cowell, a Delray resident suffering from multiple sclerosis. Cowell’s illness makes it incredibly difficult for her to walk more than a short distance, even with a cane. However, according to Dani Moschella, Delray Police spokeswoman, any individual with a disability can simply ask their rideshare driver to drop them off in a handicapped parking space.
Commuters and businesses, of course, tend to support riders being dropped off around the corner from the busiest traffic on Atlantic Avenue. “Coming into season, we all known how packed the Avenue is, so I think it’s a smart idea,” said Adam Myers, owner of the Frog Lounge in Delray Beach, noting how much traffic congestion is often caused by the pick-up and drop off of rideshare travelers in the area.
Drivers who are found to be in violation of the new zoning policy won’t be penalized during the initial phase. After this grace period, however, drivers could be fined $116 and issued a non-moving citation. For now, local riders have the option of pick-up or drop off in one of the zones on their rideshare apps. Opting to be picked up or dropped off in one of these zones can drop a few dollars off the regular price of a ride. Large venues and airports are known to successfully use a similar zoning setup in the area.