North & South Flagler Drive

Let’s start this story with some history concerning North & South Flagler Drive.

There is a section of North Flagler Drive that is prone to flooding between 29th Street and 34th Street. This is the stretch of road that cars are often lost to deep water. The deepest flooding along North Flagler Drive is specifically at 34th Street, 32nd Street, and 31st Street.

Residents have complained about this stretch of road for 40 years. For 40 years they have requested and then begged city leaders for relief. It was not to be. So how many served as mayor for 40 years from 1979-2019?  In 1991 residents voted for a “Strong Mayor” form of government of which 5 mayors could have made the difference—they didn’t. Total of 14 previous mayors who decided flooding on North Flagler was not as important as other issues. Below is the list of mayors.

Helen Wilkes 1978 – 1980 (First woman to serve as mayor,) James M. Adams 1980 – 1981, Michael D. Hyman 1981 – 1982,  Eva W. Mack 1982 -1984 (First African American mayor,)  Dwight Baber 1984 – 1985, Carol Roberts 1985 – 1986,  Pat Pepper Schwab 1988 – 1989,  James O. Poole 1989 – 1991,  John F. “Jeff” Koons 1991 (Served for eight months)

Strong mayor (1991-present)

Nancy M. Graham 1991 – 1999 (First strong mayor,)  Joel Daves 1999 – 2003 (Lost re-election.) Lois Frankel 2003 – 2011,  Jeri Muoio 2011- 2019,  Keith James 2019.

In 40 years there have been countless City Commissioners who along with the mayor’s did nothing. Looking at the commissioners on today’s dais I would guess a couple of them have not reached the age of 40. Think of this. The people who decide our fate weren’t born when residents first reached out for flooding relief.  Yes, commissioners that’s how long they have been waiting.

North Flagler Drive is in City commissioner Kelly Shoaf district.

South Flagler Drive is in City Commissioner Christina Lambert district.

Present Day

On the agenda for 8/26/2019 item # 17 concerned South Flagler Drive and the city’s attempt to drastically change it’s appearance with a design which many consider to be dangerous to drivers, pedestrians and bike riders. The last line on the agenda item reads: “Fiscal Note: No fiscal impact.” Really? Below is a story in the Palm Beach Post and their story states “The project is being funded through the recent 1 percent sales tax increase.” So the city is spending tax dollars on the project. How much tax money will this project cost, and with people on South Flagler against the move, wouldn’t the tax money be better spent on North Flagler Drive where for 40 years flooding has impacted peoples lives?

If you can find time to listen to the meeting and hear people’s comments pay attention when Lambert started reading the resolution, and residents had the audacity to show displeasure and James responded with HEY, HEY, HEY, and threatened to clear the room, stating “you had your chance to speak.” Well, you did all of 3 minutes.

Then before the vote he asked commissioners if they had any more questions. Lambert went on for 5 minutes making a statement and I never heard a question. I believe she was attempting to justify the vote she knew was coming. Watch the meeting below.


“Commissioners Neering and Joe Peduzzi voted against the change, while Christina Lambert and Kelly Shoaf voted for it. With Commissioner Richard Ryles absent, Mayor Keith James voted to break the tie, supporting his administration’s project.”

If Commissioner Ryles was absent, why didn’t they continue the item as it held so much importance to so many?

The people who voted in favor of the resolution, James, Shoaf and Lambert could bring it back for re-consideration, and they should.

Why didn’t Commissioner Shoaf fight for the tax dollars for her end of Flagler?

Both ladies are up for re-election, and my concern is they will retain their seat because they will not be challenged.

Controversial bike trail on S. Flagler Drive will narrow lanes, give waterfront street a new look. Read entire story below.