Jestena is a Delray Beach business leader well recognized for her successful transformation and far-sighted operation of the downtown Colony Hotel and beachfront Colony Cabaña Club. She lives, works, and walks with her dog downtown daily. Jestena retired from practice as a landscape architect, professor of landscape architecture/urban design and president of the Washington and Boston Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects and is now delighted to use those experiences in helping to form her hometown.
Why did you get involved in Human Powered Delray?
We can make a difference. Independent advocacy groups can instigate important needed community changes. Delray must constantly improve safety and aesthetics of our town; we promote ourselves as a pedestrian friendly destination. Environmental responsibility is as high a priority as new business development. Better new businesses will come here because Delray is a successfully sustainable city.
Where is your favorite place to walk or ride in Delray Beach?
Walking: Atlantic Avenue and A1A beach sidewalks. Bicycling: Bike lanes on A1A, George Bush to Woolbright during off season. It’s not safe enough to bicycle in season.
What city or project do you consider to be a good pedestrian or cycling model for Delray to learn from or emulate?
Seattle is an excellent example, though much larger than Delray, for designated circulation paths for different modes of transportation: commuter bicyclists, recreation bicyclists, rollerskaters, skateboarders, runners, joggers, stroller pushers, dog walkers, shoppers, sightseers, wheelchairs. Deerfield has an excellent complete streets program just started.
HPD is working on several initiatives. What is the most important improvement you think Delray needs to make to its pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure or culture?
The City Commission passed LDR revisions, which was top on my list. Now we still need to work on better sidewalks. Downtown sidewalk safety needs bike lane alternatives, which may be alleys.