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West Palm Beach Dda Starts Cultural Trolley Route | Www.palmbeachdailynews.com

13. Its part of the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authoritys launch of an arts and entertainment district designed to draw more people to live, work and visit downtown. The free trolley, which will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, will enter Palm Beach over the Royal Park Bridge, stop at The Society of the Four Arts, travel north on Cocoanut Row to the Flagler Museum, then return to West Palm Beach via the Flagler Memorial Bridge. In West Palm Beach, the trolley will stop at venues such as the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, Palm Beach Photographic Centre and the Mandel Public Library, the Norton Museum of Art and the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens. The trolley, which joins two routes the DDA already operates, will make it easier for visitors and locals to access cultural venues, diminish competition for parking places and ease traffic congestion, DDA leaders said. Palm Beach town codes regulate the services route, stops and signs. A permit for the route and stops has been approved, Public Safety Director Kirk Blouin said. We just asked that the pick-up and drop-off points be on private property rather than on the public roadways, he said. The DDA will forgo signs at the Palm Beach drop-off points, because of the Four Arts and Flagler Museums historic character, Executive Director Raphael Clemente said. We are well aware of the sensitivity of the island, he said. Its a special place. The trolley service shouldnt inconvenience residents, Town Manager Peter Elwell said. The review and the actions taken by staff to enforce town codes should ensure the trolley can operate here without any negative impact on the community. He doesnt know of any other tours that stop in Palm Beach. Transportation has long been a concern in promoting the countys cultural attractions, said John Blades, the Flagler Museums executive director. Everything is not clustered within walking distance. Were always talking about how we can help visitors navigate to these places. This is the DDAs effort to do something about it. As for the decision to include two Palm Beach stops, I think its great that theyre thinking of the big picture, he said. Visitors dont care where the city lines are. In 2003, when the Flagler Museum asked the town for permission to repair its dock so that water taxis could ferry groups to the museum, the Town Council agreed only on condition that the tours include museum admission and a round-trip ticket to discourage passengers from taking to the roads. The service stopped after about a year when the Sailfish Marina was sold and the new owners werent interested in continuing it, Blades said. Four Arts President Ervin Duggan applauded the collaborative move to package and promote the area as a cultural destination. This is a cooperative venture by the cultural institutions of the community, he said. Anything that encourages institutions to cooperate and complement each other rather than be competitive is a good thing. The trolley should be good for business and present Palm Beach in a positive light, said Laurel Baker, executive director of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce. I hope it has a positive impact and that people will see it and hop on. More News
To get the first release including any extra illustrations or photos or online video, head to West Palm Beach DDA starts cultural trolley route | www.palmbeachdailynews.com

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