Philips Highway: Safety Improvement or Death Trap?November 29, 2012 26 comments Print Article
Ever wonder why Jacksonville and the rest of Florida's major cities lead the nation in pedestrian and bicycle deaths? Look no further than the Florida Department of Transportation's (FDOT) current Philips Highway project.
Hubbard Construction Company of Winter Park has been hired by FDOT to resurface a five mile segment of Philips Highway from Business Park Boulevard to Baymeadows Road. Work on the $8.9 million project began in July 2012 and is anticipated to be completed Spring 2013.
As a part of the resurfacing project, several safety improvements are being made to the corridor, including ADA accessible bus stops. There's only one major problem. There's no sidewalks to access the bus stops or even an attempt to connect the stops to the nearest businesses. Imagine being in a wheelchair and trying to dodge semi-trucks traveling over 45 miles per hour to catch the bus? If asked, one would expect some logical reason to be given for excluding sidewalk improvements. Perhaps it's policy or perhaps it's cost (sidewalk money from the mobility fee could have helped with, if not for a recently expired moratorium).
At this point, all we can say is City Council considering adopting some form of Context Sensitive Streets policy in Jacksonville can't come fast enough.
Images by Ennis Davis
For more information on the Philips Highway project visit: http://www.northfloridaroads.com/projects/details.asp?ProjectID=553