City Council approves Boyer’s legislation for speed reduction process

City Council approves Boyer’s legislation for speed reduction process

San Marco neighborhoods where residents are concerned about speeding commuter traffic will now find it easier to appeal for slower speed limits after the Jacksonville City Council approved legislation sponsored by District 5 Councilwoman Lori Boyer.

After hosting community meetings in September regarding excessive speed on residential streets, Boyer introduced a bill creating a petition process and funds to help neighborhoods get speeds reduced. That ordinance, 2014-666, was enacted on Nov. 25.

At the two San Marco town hall meetings, Boyer was told the problem is motorists looking for alternative routes to avoid traffic congestion and finding them on neighborhood streets.

Residents on River Road and surrounding side streets were particularly irked by the speeds of rush hour commuters and sought resolution. Several solutions were offered but participants felt that reducing speed limits from 30 mph to 20 or 25 mph would serve the community best.

The legislation enables a neighborhood homeowner’s association or group of residents to petition to have the speed limit within a residential district reduced on local streets. Following a process that includes filing a petition, scheduling public meetings and circulating the petition to affected property owners, at least 75 percent of the property owners of the local road segment impacted must agree with the proposed speed limit change.

Neighbors ante up
Once the petition process is completed, the Public Works Department will invoice the neighborhood for 50 percent of the costs for signage and other applicable costs. That share of the costs is typically borne by a neighborhood association treasury, but an amendment to the new legislation will provide financial assistance where needed.

Ordinance Code Section 111.930, Neighborhood Speed Limit Reduction Trust Fund, allows City Council to appropriate funds to offset a neighborhood’s share of the costs associated with the installation of speed limit signs.

To complete the petition process, the city highway engineer will determine if the changes are reasonable and conform with Florida Department of Transportation criteria for speed zoning. If, with input from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the petition is deemed reasonable, the speed limit reduction will be implemented; if it is not, the neighborhood’s costs will be refunded.

Will petition process help curb excess speeds?
Do you have an opinion to share about speed limits in your neighborhood? Do you think the new legislation will be effective? Let us – and other readers – know if your neighborhood will begin a petition to reduce speed limits on your local streets. Send your comments to [email protected]

District 5 Neighborhood Meetings
Councilwoman Lori Boyer will hold several meetings this month for residents interested in discussions on traffic calming and lake dredging. All meetings will be held at the San Marco Preservation Hall, 1652 Atlantic Blvd.

River Road Traffic Calming
January 14, 2015, 6-7 p.m.

Belote Place and Marco Place Traffic Calming
January 14, 2015,
7:30-8:30 p.m.

Lakewood Road and
Northwood Road Traffic Calming
January 15, 2015, 6-7 p.m.*
Colonial Manor Meeting:
Lake Dredging
January 15, 2015,
7-8 p.m.*

Gadsden Rd Traffic Calming
January 26, 2015,
6-7 p.m.*

*Dates and times
subject to change

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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