5 Points Concept Plan study nears completion

5 Points Concept Plan study nears completion

A plan for major changes in the 5 Points area was officially presented for the first time at the Riverside Avondale Preservation annual meeting on Feb. 27. The plan for functional and aesthetic improvements in the 5 Points area is intended to advance the goal of RAP to make that area the safest, most walkable neighborhood in Florida.

The concept plan covers three major intersections, which include Park St. at Post St., Post St. at Margaret St., and the 5 Points intersection, at Park, Margaret and Lomax streets; three blocks on Margaret Street and one block on Lomax Street, and two crosswalks on Park Street opposite the Sun Ray Cinema, and on Margaret Street south of Oak Street.
Funded by RAP with the 5 Points Merchants Association as the primary stakeholder, the consulting team for the plan is being led by Tocknell Planning Services, with assistance from EnVision Design + Engineering and the Flagg Design Studio.
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In July 2013, as the first step in the planning study, a walking tour was conducted of the 5 Points area, involving RAP leadership, District 14 Councilman Jim Love and other public officials, and the consultants, along with 5 Points merchants and other key stakeholders. Other outreach events conducted during the study included a Town Hall meeting at the Sun-Ray Cinema, and an unofficial presentation to area merchants.

In carrying out the study, participants learned that vehicular traffic levels have remained stable in the 5 Points area over the past five years, and that for this and other reasons, one or more of the existing vehicular travel lanes in the area may no longer be needed.

To create an environment in the area that would be safer and more attractive for churches, businesses, visitors and residents, as well as for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and drivers, the plan emphasizes walkability by promoting slower vehicle speeds; more room for pedestrians; more bike racks, and crosswalks that are shorter and more clearly marked. The plan also expands the amount of space available for meeting and dining, while maintaining or expanding the number of
on-street parking spaces. Landscaping and lighting improvements will also be included in the plan.

The concept plan covers three major intersections, which include Park St. at Post St., Post St. at Margaret St., and the 5 Points  intersection, at  Park, Margaret  and Lomax streets

The concept plan covers three major intersections, which include Park St. at Post St., Post St. at Margaret St., and the 5 Points intersection, at Park, Margaret and Lomax streets

After the preliminary concept plan was presented at the RAP annual meeting, there will be a 30-day review and comment period before the plan is finalized. Upon the
finalization of the plan, RAP intends to proceed directly into the design phase for two elements of the plan, which are Lomax Street between Park Street and Oak Street, and the “5 Points” intersection of Park, Margaret and Lomax streets.

The completed plan for 5 Points will also contribute to the development of new roadway design guidelines for the rest of Riverside and Avondale, as well as for urban priority areas across Jacksonville.

The City of Jacksonville has recently appointed a “Context Sensitive Standards Committee” that will begin meeting soon. This committee has been charged to develop standards for more pedestrian and bicycle friendly streets in the urban areas of Jacksonville. The design standards from the 5 Points study will be a useful prototype that will be closely examined by this new committee.

For more information or to express an opinion, contact Stephen Tocknell at (904) 638-6629 or email [email protected]

Submitted by Stephen Tocknell
Tocknell Planning Services LLC

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