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Complete Streets Policy to Impact Jacksonville

On Monday, March 15th, US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood announced a new "complete streets" policy that would put planning for bicycling and pedestrians on equal footing with highways and transit. In his blog, Secretary LaHood states that "this is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized."

Published March 30, 2010 in News      15 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


He goes on to say:

“We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.

To set this approach in motion, we have formulated key recommendations for state DOTs and communities:

• Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.

• Ensure convenient access for people of all ages and abilities.

• Go beyond minimum design standards.

• Collect data on walking and biking trips.

• Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling.

• Protect sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are protected (for example, snow removal)

• Improve nonmotorized facilities during maintenance projects.

The new US DOT Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations are posted on FHWA’s website.

What this means for Jacksonville

Under the new federal policy, recently completed automobile oriented projects, such as Main Street, would be discouraged in favor of infrastructure that equally caters to all transportation modes.

We will have to re-evaluate the way we design and approve our streets to better facilitate the growth and redevelopment of livable neighborhoods within our city.  With a new federal administration leading the way, look for more regulations and recommendations in the upcoming months to help pull Jacksonville into the 21st century.

News Update by Ennis Davis



March 30, 2010, 08:22:10 AM
the first thing we need to do here is get a policy in place requiring the addition of bike lanes to collectors and arterials wherever possible....this has been done in many other cities during resurfacing.

Case in point....Riverplace Blvd was just one could argue that there was no need to keep 4 lanes on the road since Hendricks is now just 2 lanes....but forgetting that issue, the City kept wide travel lanes and a median that is 4' wider than it needed to be....shrinking the median would have allowed for 1 bike lane and reducing each travel lane by 1' would have allowed another....think about how important bike lanes on that road would be since it connects Hendricks (which has bike lanes) to the Main St Bridge!


March 30, 2010, 08:49:50 AM
^The mobility plan includes this idea as one of the suggested policy changes.  Let's hope that it passes later this year.


March 30, 2010, 09:08:30 AM
Sadly, there has been a lot of backlash to Ray LaHood's comments from the traditional "road-building" lobby...see the links below

Also, an interesting commentary from Michael Lewyn, who used to live here in Jax. and work at FCSL


March 30, 2010, 09:16:50 AM

What will be interesting is to see if we can add the principles of livable streets to our street design requirements.  Its still basically road construction.  However, you're just planning and designing the projects in a more sustainable manner that accommodates multiple travel options.

What happens when the folks at Good Magazine, where the triple bottom line meets great visual design in a magazine, sets their sights on livable streets?  You get The Street of the Future is a Livable Street: How to overhaul a Manhattan intersection interactive graphic, with before and after shots.  In partnership with the Livable Streets Initiative (a livable streets social network), they illustrate what is known as a complete street that accommodates pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transport alike.

The ten key ‘complete street’ elements that they list:

1. Street vendors - help make streets into destinations.

2. Pedestrian street lamps - people need lighting at least as much as cars.

3. Curb extensions or bulb-outs - narrows the street at crosswalks.

4. Dedicated bus lanes - allows buses to be as efficient as light rail.

5. Dedicated bike lanes - allows bikes to be as efficient as well.

6. Raised, textured sidewalks - huge aesthetic difference, and clear distinction as a pedestrian-first zone.

7. Traffic lights with a leading pedestrian interval - gives pedestrians a headstart before cars start turning into their lane.

8. Bollards - Non-obtrusive pedestrian protectors.

9. Street trees and plantings - arguably the biggest aesthetic enhancer for any street.

10. Speed bump - classic traffic calming.

Captain Zissou

March 30, 2010, 10:42:03 AM
This is great news.  Riverplace would have been a great project to implement these principles.  After getting off 2 lane Hendricks, you can basically rocket around the corner to get to the Main Street bridge.  You total blow past Sake House, Mortons, Chart House, and the three biggest residential developments DT.  The area would benefit from traffic calming, pedestrian oriented streetscapes, and something to encourage activity and infill. 

Have you ever tried to run across the street to get to Sake House?? Think frogger if frogger had a blind turn on one side.


March 30, 2010, 12:27:46 PM
Especially in the urban core, it would appear that pedestrian and bike (don't forget the bike racks!) traffic accommodations would be a no-brainer.  Of course, we also need to give people something to do while passing down our streets.  Like non-motorized traffic friendly street-facing retail and other fronts.

I once suggested that emulating the mobility on many college campuses would be wise for planners to consider.  It's all about walking, biking, and, in some cases, busing.  I can't think of any other non-urban environment that puts a higher percentage of people on foot and other "non-motorized" modes of transit.  If we can condition school "dazed" college students, we can condition anyone.  :D

Captain Zissou

March 30, 2010, 02:03:43 PM
^ True.  Students walk .5 to a full mile without blinking because the environment is set up to be walkable. 


March 30, 2010, 02:59:03 PM
Pull Jacksonville into the 21St Century? I was thinking more like helping us catch up to the 3RD WORLD! HA!

Feast your eye's on Colombia, with the Ciclovia "Bike-Road" program that is one of the most advanced in the world. Eat your hearts out Jacksonville!

Viva La Republica Colombia!


March 31, 2010, 05:10:36 PM
Also, an interesting commentary from Michael Lewyn, who used to live here in Jax. and work at FCSL

He's no longer teaching here? Where is he now?


March 31, 2010, 05:47:09 PM
From what I understand, he moved to Atlanta

CS Foltz

March 31, 2010, 09:18:10 PM
Can you blame him? ;)


March 31, 2010, 10:17:32 PM
This article expresses my opinion exactly. But, we have to keep on them about this so they don't let it fall through the cracks. I'm legally blind and I've been speaking up about this for years, almost being run over every day, and no one seemed to care. I hope this can change everything. We also need to demand that the police start charging the motorists that run over pedestrians. For example, you may have seen on the news, a woman was hit by a trolley, disfiguring her leg. The driver was sighted for running a redlight, but not for maiming this poor woman. And, just before Christmas, a mother and child was hit. The child was killed. The light may have changed too fast. But, the driver should've been watching the road before wandering if he/she could save a few seconds on their trip. I'm saying, we need to be tougher on careless driving!

CS Foltz

March 31, 2010, 10:26:11 PM
urbaknight.......I agree! All drivers should have their eyes on what they are doing ! It is their responsibility to do so and if not they need to be removed from driving!


April 01, 2010, 12:53:58 AM
From what I understand, he moved to Atlanta

I asked because the article still had him listed as a professor at FCSL, as does the school's website. And his own blog is still titled in reference to Jax, but after skimming said blog, it is clear he is currently pursuing an LLM in Toronto.  ;D

Dashing Dan

July 21, 2011, 12:13:46 PM
The Florida Bicycle Association is about to weigh in on this issue.  Stay tuned.
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