Community talks two-way conversion downtown, design plans in review

Community talks two-way conversion downtown, design plans in review

Design plans are in the works that would convert some roadways in Downtown Jacksonville from one-way to two-way streets.

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The changes would be made to Adams and Forsyth streets, which currently run in one direction.

The project boundary would span between Jefferson and Liberty Streets.

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Plans submitted by local group Prosser are awaiting review. Included are ten-foot travel lanes and seven-foot parallel parking spaces. Existing sidewalks and curbs would remain.

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On Thursday, the Downtown Investment Authority told Action News Jax the project has an estimated cost of $4.9 million.

Rodney Armstrong shared what he’s noticed about roads downtown.

“It’s kind of crazy, because there are a bunch of one-way streets,” Armstrong said. “So it gets kind of confusing sometimes.”

Armstrong is optimistic about the plans.

“I think that would help very much,” Armstrong said. “I think that will lessen some of the confusion.”

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Jacob High, who works downtown, agrees.

“That’d be nice. Traffic’s bad in the mornings but gets better throughout the day,” High said. “People drive a little crazy, especially around the holidays. People honk a lot. They get pissed at you, if you’re trying to get over.”

Goals of the project include calming traffic and boosting walkability on east-west corridors through LaVilla, City Center and the Sports and Entertainment District.

Morris Reid also works downtown but says people just need to be more alert, especially behind the wheel.

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“They have all the signs up and everything,” Reid said. “They know what to do. They know what to look for. You have to pay attention on these roads, walking or driving.”

In 2015, the City of Jacksonville adopted a revised Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) plan for the Northbank of Downtown, which includes a specific project for the reintroduction of two-way street systems within the Northbank.

Forsyth Street and Adams Street were both identified as streets prioritized within the CRA Plan for two-way conversion. Segments of both streets lie within DIA’s targeted dining districts and their conversion to two-way streets complements other public and private redevelopment efforts.

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As for a timeline, a DIA leader told Action News Jax: “We expect construction bidding to occur during the first quarter of 2023 with commencement of construction during the second quarter of 2023. The project is expected to be complete within 18 months of the project award.”

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