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Residents weigh in on Vision Zero Bike/Ped Policy

Citizens weigh in on Vision Absolutely no Bike/Ped Policy

Published on July 3, 2017 By Editor Community News, RECENT NEWS To eliminate bike and strolling casualties on Jacksonville streets, lots of bicyclists and pedestrians in the historical communities enjoy the idea of the City welcoming a “Vision Zero Policy”– which calls for the City to take steps to eliminate all bike and pedestrian fatalities– as a fundamental part of its a new road master strategy. According to Christopher Burns, head of the City’s Bicycle Pedestrian Action Committee (BPAC), the 2016 Alliance for Cycling and Strolling Benchmarking Report stated that, of the 50 most significant cities in the United States, Jacksonville is ranked worst in the entire country for combined pedestrian and cycling deaths. In addition to this well-known difference, Jacksonville is likewise the 4th worst city in the U.S. for pedestrian risk, inning accordance with the 2016 Unsafe by Design report, he said. To deal with and change its dangerous credibility, the City hired Toole Design Group to come up with a strategy to transform Jacksonville into a walkable, street-friendly place with a focus on being attractive to businesses and millennials. Throughout a final discussion March 27 in the Ed Ball Building, Andy Clarke, director of technique for Toole Design, said the core of the 119-page master plan advises the adoption of a vibrant “Vision Absolutely no Policy” to assist alter the City’s culture when it comes to cycling and walking. To increase road safety, Vision Absolutely no Policy recommends the city retrofit roadways and pathways with barriers, devoted bike lanes, crosswalks, lane decreases, typicals, and rectangle-shaped rapid flash beacons (RRFBs) to protect pedestrians and bicyclists from vehicular traffic. Where it is not possible to change infrastructure, the strategy recommends speed limitations be significantly minimized to make sure pedestrians and cyclists endure mishaps when they take place. Dan Globus, a San Marco local, cheered the master plan however said it might not go far enough. “I think it’s crucial for Jacksonville to execute the Vision Zero Policy, but it will certainly be an obstacle for the community. With the diversity of needs and wide variety of ideas around strolling, biking and transport, there will be inherent hurdles to implementation. This method will require city and neighborhood leaders to own the plan and make some difficult calls that may not be popular with some homeowners but are essential to save lives,” Globus stated. “The plan is focused in its scope, and considering that we are at a crisis point in terms of pedestrian and cyclist deaths in Jacksonville, it is appropriate for addressing our city’s concerns. That said, I believe the City must go further than the Vision Absolutely no Policy to establish safe and comfortable walking and cycling spaces in our historical districts that are less car-centric,” he stated, adding he is excited the strategy concentrates on a data-based feedback loop where the City will get the statistics it has to identify priority tasks, implement impactful services and justify expenditures. Policy application practical Burns concurred that implementation is essential. “This is just a strategy. It needs to be carried out and not rest on a shelf collecting dust. This plan only thinks about Movement Zones 7-10. Its principles need to be used by regional City coordinators, Public Works, and City authorities to our entire location. We need to focus on rebuilding existing roads, and we must discover funds in all locations,” he stated adding that the master strategy has fringe benefits aside from security. “The problem is that Jacksonville is a risky place to stroll or ride a bike. People are afraid. Strolling and cycling benefit public health, and Jacksonville does not have a healthy adult population,” he stated, keeping in mind that 66 percent of grownups residing in the city are overweight or overweight. “Improving our residents’ health would reduce healthcare costs for both federal government and private organisations supplying health insurance, along with out-of-pocket expenditures for locals.” Strolling and cycling are good for the economy, the environment, and real estate worths since people wish to drive less, he stated. Erik Anderson of Riverside concurred that dangerous public roads dissuade prospective bicyclists and walkers. “Right now, we have a problem with the absence of bike lanes on significant roads throughout the city,” he said. “Typically pedestrian safety infrastructure is significantly lacking. All it takes is a trip down Timuquana/103rd, Blanding, San Jose, or any other 45-mph-plus four-lane thoroughfare to see the concern. These routes have highway-width lanes that motivate quick driving, no matter speed limitations. That, integrated with minimum pedestrian crossings and non-continuous or non-existent walkways and short crossing times at crosswalks, make for dangerous roads for both strolling and biking. Zoning and development strengthen the car-centric nature of the home along these routes,” he said. It is “possible” to implement Vision No Policy in Jacksonville, said Anderson. “We have the best basic material to easily make cycling anywhere in the city possible,” he said, noting the city has great weather, flat land, and is expanded, enabling simple access to multi-use courses and trails. “I believe the biggest challenges are altering the local culture as it connects to cyclists and pedestrians, bureaucratic/political hurdles such as FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) policies, and negotiations with personal entities for gain access to,” he said. Teryn Romaine of Riverside, who commutes daily by bike to Stanton College Preparatory School, liked the strategy but is fretted about implementation. “We have seen adequate things get sunken in government bureaucracy that it can feel pointless to make helpful propositions,” she stated. Education required, missing from plan Jenny Henry of Murray Hill, co-founder and director of JaxBike Coalition, said she was “really thrilled” about strategies to accelerate the setup or RRFBs citywide and the brand-new multi-use course set up to be constructed across the Fuller Warren Bridge. Nevertheless she was disappointed that roadway safety instruction is not included in the plan. “Something that desperately has to be consisted of is the academic element of change,” said Henry. “All the road paint and signs on the planet isn’t really going to save me from belligerent or sidetracked motorists, which happens to be an epidemic now due to mobile devices. Jacksonville vehicle drivers are not being appropriately informed on roadway sharing, right of ways, and the dreadful consequences of sidetracked driving,” she stated. “Education must include our cops department. JSO has to deal with cyclists, pedestrians and people who ride the bus, not against them. The laws are not being imposed here, and the effects for striking a cyclist or pedestrian are nowhere near where they need to be,” she stated. Speeding fines and extra jail time may trigger motorists to believe prior to driving recklessly, she added. “We have to carry out cultural-shifting education programs at the preliminary source– high school Motorist’s Ed class– and at the last source, law enforcement. We need funding for a real not-for-profit bike/ped advocacy organization so specialists can afford to educate the general public fulltime and host occasions to raise awareness and encourage greater numbers of ridership,” she said. A number of elements, which are not part of the master plan, might be contributed to make things safer for bicyclists, walkers, and motorists, said Romaine. “It is great to see the multi-use path that will be cantilevered off the Fuller Warren Bridge renovate,” she stated. “It might be (finished) four years from now, and in the meantime, we will keep utilizing the Acosta (Bridge).” In the much shorter term, enforcement is required on existing laws about which side of the roadway bicycle riders use, making use of signals by vehicles and bikes, and for the motorized bikes, which go too quick for sidewalks, dart across roads, and are in some cases on highways, she stated. “We could actually use some bike lanes in the Riverside/Avondale location, such as on Oak Street, and some sort of bike path with bike-able pavement and without on-street parking. That ought to be able to take you from Ortega to downtown,” she continued. “It would be great to have some cross-street routes like Barrs (Street). The majority of College (Street) is manageable, although on-street parking constricts it in places. New developments ought to consist of parking lot. I would likewise want to see public multi-use access along the St. Johns Northbank extending beyond the Fuller Warren.” Globus likewise stated enforcement of roadway laws is very important. “A 25-mph speed limitation is useless if it’s overlooked,” he said. “We require the City to demand that income created from the enforcement of Vision Zero improvements be returned from the state to the city and allocated to continue enhancements.” Steve Tocknell of Riverside said he believed the master strategy was “extremely extensive and practically extremely so.” Although he acknowledges safety could be enhanced in Riverside and Avondale, it is the “underserved” and “disadvantaged” locations of the city that need to be focused on very first. “We have issues in Riverside and Avondale, however we don’t have the fatalities they have in other parts of the city,” he stated. As a pedestrian supporter, Larry Roberts of San Jose said he is happy the master plan included specific actions and projects that will improve walking, but more is required. “I want the plan consisted of more about the next steps– the procedure of identifying financing sources, matching specific tasks to a financing source, and obtaining approval,” he said. “This is a big amount of in-depth work that requires extensive knowledge of how the system runs at the city, state, and nationwide level. “I can’t avoid believing that if the hundreds of countless dollars being considered by the City of Jacksonville for its part of the proposed port dredging task were spent rather on city facilities to minimize crashes, deaths, and injuries to lorry operators, pedestrians, and cyclists, the outcomes would be shocking,” Roberts said. “The sensational enhancement in quality of life in the city would make it a most wanted location of life and work.” By Marcia Hodgson Citizen Community News (No Rankings Yet) Loading …

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