Truck route ordinance would deter neighborhood cut-throughs

Truck drivers could soon be getting designated routes through Jacksonville to help them navigate the city while avoiding unnecessary trips down residential streets.

District 5 Councilwoman Lori Boyer, who represents San Marco, said designated truck routes are common in most large cities, but this will be a first for Jacksonville.

Ordinance 2017-807 would establish 52 truck routes and 10 alternate routes. Most state roads would automatically be truck routes, unless specifically excluded. The routes would show up on digital maps like Google Maps.

Truckers could still make deliveries in neighborhoods, but they could be fined $100 for using a residential street as a cut-through.

At least one San Marco resident likes the sound of that. Brit Bradley is heading up an effort to lower the speed limit on River Oaks Road, a popular cut-through for transient drivers of cars and trucks between Philips Highway and Hendricks Avenue. River Oaks is popular with walkers, runners and cyclists, and cars are parked along the street.

Bradley, who lives on Southwood Lane, wants the speed limit lowered from 30 mph to 20 mph on the eastern section of River Oaks to mirror the speed limit on the section west of Hendricks.

She also wants additional speed humps – not bumps – installed on River Oaks. Two humps were installed in 2008 but Bradley said they are too far apart and drivers can speed up between them.

Bradley has been working with the City Traffic Engineering Department on the issue. Boyer is having a public meeting to discuss the issue but details have not yet been announced.

If 75 percent or 53 of the homeowners agree to the changes, the city will install four speed-limit signs and a speed hump, Bradley said. Homeowners on River Oaks, Fieldston Lane, Southwood Lane and Thornwood Lane would be required to pay 50 percent of the cost of the signs, which cost $200 each. That works out to about $6 per homeowner.

“I’m an avid runner and I use River Oaks as part of my run. There is a lot of traffic, especially during commute times when traffic backs up at the light,” Bradley said. “Sometimes it’s difficult to make a left turn on River Oaks because the traffic is so backed up. I’m really hoping the traffic-calming measures will deter the transient drivers.”

Bradley said she likes the idea of designated truck routes but thinks they would need to be enforced by law enforcement to be effective.

The ordinance is currently under review by the Transportation, Energy and Utilities Committee.

By Lilla Ross
Resident Community News

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