San Marco Square traffic redesign: Updated plans right on point

San Marco Square traffic redesign: Updated plans right on point

San Marco Preservation Society officials released a preliminary $120,000 budget for the redesign and construction of Balis Park in San Marco Square as new details about the project begin to emerge.
Local engineer and San Marco Society Past President Doug Skiles shared additional facts about the park and traffic changes in San Marco Square during the group’s October meeting – a follow up to new plans unveiled publicly in September. The plans aim to improve vehicular flow through the square and the new roundabout at Naldo Avenue. As part of the redesign, the traffic light at the square’s center will be removed and Balis Park will be connected to the lion statues – creating a more prominent, usable green space that promotes walkability. Southbound traffic accessing Atlantic Boulevard or northbound San Marco Boulevard will utilize an expanded passage on Balis Place, according to plans.
The park expenses will be covered by the San Marco Preservation Society and the San Marco Merchants Association through the sale of bricks, benches and trees, as well as individual sponsorships, Skiles said. The groups will pay for maintenance of the new park through a contract with the current landscape company, Skiles indicated. The groups also are working with the city of Jacksonville parks department and the Office of the General Counsel to create an agreement allowing San Marco Preservation Society control of park use and permitting.
One of the initiative’s first major fundraisers will be the Autumn in the Park Farm to Table Dinner, slated for Nov. 11 at nearby Davin Park. Bricks, sponsorships and artistic renderings of San Marco Square by local artist Chris Flagg will be sold to raise funds for the project. Logan Rink from San Marco-based DCOOP is putting together a drawing to “inspire people to donate,” Skiles said at the meeting. Patrick Carter Design has been hired to help assemble a sponsorship package and assist with signage, branding and website needs.

 

By Susanna P. Barton
Resident Community News

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