San Marco to be first neighborhood with complete bicycle lane

When the repaving of Hendricks Avenue is completed next year San Marco will be the first neighborhood in the city with a complete bike lane, running from Baymeadows Road to Prudential Drive.

And when reconfiguration of traffic on Riverplace Boulevard is done, that bike lane will go all the way to downtown.

Attorney Chris Burns, an avid cyclist, hopes it’s the beginning of a trend.

Right now, the bike lane runs from Baymeadows to Cornell Road, a few blocks north of University Boulevard. 

The resurfacing project along approximately three miles of San Jose Boulevard and Hendricks Avenue from Cornell Road to San Marco Boulevard is scheduled to begin in October and is expected to be finished in
late 2018, said Debbie Delgado, a spokesperson for Florida Department of Transportation.

Among the highlights:

  • On-street parking from Cornell Road to Peachtree Circle North will be removed and bike lanes will be added.
  • The roadway will be widened by reducing the median between Peachtree Circle North and Dunsford Road to accommodate both on-street parking and bike lanes. 
  • On-street parking from Dunsford Road to San Marco Boulevard will be removed and bike lanes will be added.

FDOT will have an open house Thursday, Sept. 28, 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church, 4001 Hendricks Ave., to explain the construction timeline and how it will affect traffic.

The new bike lanes will allow cyclists to ride safely on one of the city’s busiest roads, Burns said. Right now, cyclists use the parking lane, but if they encounter a parked car they have to veer into the traffic lane. A cyclist that is hit by a car traveling 45 miles an hour ends up severely injured or dead.

But for Burns it isn’t just about safety. It’s about connectivity.

“This is extremely valuable and important project,” Burns said. “The designation is really important. It says to Jacksonville residents that we as a city honor and respect this mode of transportation. Motorists should expect people on bikes.”

Burns said Jacksonville is beginning to adopt the idea of “complete streets,” which allow people to travel by foot, bike or public transportation.

“People in their 20s and 30s want to live and move around in a place that is healthy and ecologically sound. There are also social aspects. People who walk and ride take the time to visit stores and talk with neighbors so there is a less anxious environment,” said Burns.

By Lilla Ross
Resident Community News

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