8-foot-wide sidewalk coming to entrance of Ballard Park neighborhood

By Greg Pallone, Brevard County Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 10:44 PM EDT

A Melbourne neighborhood will soon be safer for pedestrians and bicyclists after the city puts in a much-needed sidewalk at the entrance of a busy park.

  • Sidewalk approved near entrance of Ballard Park in Melbourne
  • People who live in the area say it's dangerous for walkers, bikers
  • Project cost is $235,000, will be done by end of the year

It's an important project in an area like the Space Coast, where people are often struck by vehicles.

"That was a close call — it was scary," Jennifer Cope said.

Cope still thinks about the car that narrowly missed her as she walked in her Ballard Park neighborhood — an area she has lived in for about 25 years.

There's been more than one incident, too.

"As a pedestrian or bicyclist, you are on the roads with cars or you are on a steep bank," she said.

She is talking about the narrow stretch to the entrance of Ballard Park, a popular waterfront destination for fishermen, boaters and nature lovers.

Hundreds of people use it every day, but the only way to get there by car is on Thomas Barbour Drive and through the residential area.

Some people, like Cope, have fought for years to get a sidewalk installed. Cope and several others pleaded with the city of Melbourne to help.

City engineers evaluated the area, and the Melbourne City Council recently voted to move forward.

A plan is in place to install 800 feet of an 8-foot-wide multi-use path at the park's entrance.

The project will cost about $235,000.

According to statistics provided by the Space Coast Transportation and Planning Organization, the Brevard County area is the second worst in the county in regard to pedestrian safety.

Cope said the stats are proof-positive that the sidewalk is essential near her home.

"We are happy everyone is finally on the same page," she said.

Construction crews will also build a retaining wall to protect established trees near the sidewalk. Work is expected to begin in six weeks and be finished in about five months. 

A map of the sidewalk that will be built at the entrance of the Ballard Park neighborhood. (City of Melbourne)


News 13 has partnered with the Florida Department of Transportation on its “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow” campaign. The idea is to make sure we’re all sharing the road with people who walk or ride their bikes, and everyone makes it where they need to be safely. FDOT has all kinds of resources for you on alerttodayflorida.com.