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FDOT Misguiding Public on Fuller Warren Bridge Project?

FDOT to unveil plans for improving traffic through the I-10 and I-95 interchange area in Jacksonville. In preparation of FDOT's presentation, Metro Jacksonville highlights a situation where FDOT may be misguiding the public in building their case to widen the Fuller Warren Bridge.

Published February 10, 2014 in Transit      50 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article



According to them, the addition of bikes lanes cannot be considered for inclusion on this project as per Florida Statutes. It also cannot be considered as a pilot project because the requirements for selecting and implementing have already passed. Also, nor would the Fuller Warren Bridge have qualified as a pilot project due to the close proximity of the Acosta Bridge.

While it is true that they can not include bike LANES on a limited access highway or bridge, the FDOT may be misguiding city officials and the general public on its true ability to address alternative forms of mobility with this project.


I-195 in Miami. An FDOT pilot project allows cyclists to ride bikes on the shoulder of the highway. The shoulder is the pavement to the right of red jeep in image. Florida Statute 316.091 prohibits this from taking place on the Fuller Warren Bridge.

The problem here is that FDOT specifically uses Florida Statute 316.091 as the primary reason why they can't include bike and pedestrian improvements as a part of their Fuller Warren Bridge plan. This statute prohibits bikes on the roadway or along the shoulder, including bridges, on limited access facilities; interstate highways. There are a few pilot projects in the state where this is allowed, such as I-195 in Miami. However, the Fuller Warren Bridge isn't eligible for this program because pilot projects had to be selected by October 1, 2012 and the Acosta Bridge, which does have sidewalks, is roughly a mile north of the Fuller Warren Bridge.


Understanding the statute - two different animals: On the left, a bike lane or shoulder. These are prohibited by Florida Statute 316.091. On the right, a physically separated multi-use path. Florida Statute 316.091 is not applicable for physically separated multi-use paths. Images courtesy of http://ladyfleur.wordpress.com/category/backroads/

For those interested in improving all forms of mobility in Jacksonville's urban core, don't ask for bike LANES, ask for a physically separated multi-use PATH. Florida Statute 316.091, its pilot project program and the location of the Acosta Bridge, have nothing to do with physically separated multi-use PATHS.  In fact, there is no statute prohibiting the inclusion of a physically separated multi-use path on the Fuller Warren Bridge or adjacent to any other limited access highway in Jacksonville and the State of Florida. As the images illustrate above, they are two different types of facilities.

If this isn't enough, Florida is home to several examples of physically separated multi-use PATHS adjacent to limited access facilities.  If FDOT District 2's claim that they can't legally enhance bicycle and pedestrian modes as a part of this project is true, then FDOT Districts 4 (Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach), 6 (Miami), 7 (Tampa Bay), and 8 (Floridas Turnpike Enterprise) are all openly breaking the law.


NEXT PAGE: Examples of existing FDOT funded Multi-Use Paths



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50 Comments

Noone

February 10, 2014, 05:17:02 AM
Just emailed Mr. Knight. That picture of the open canal ditch is so depressing when thinking of the clear cutting that just happened on Hogans Creek.

thelakelander

February 10, 2014, 07:27:16 AM
The canal along I-595? It's been that way for decades now. I doubt the canal is natural as well. I'm pretty sure it was one of many that helped drain the Everglades to allow for most of the sprawl in that section of Broward County.

Bridges

February 10, 2014, 07:50:23 AM
Is the bridge widening a done deal?  And now we're just arguing for the design elements?  Or will the meeting tonight also be to push back on the expansion as a whole? 

thelakelander

February 10, 2014, 07:53:05 AM
Personally, I'm not against FDOT attempting to improve travel flow on the highway. Ultimately, the devil is in the details of if it can be done without significant negative impact to the neighborhoods surrounding it. That proof of burden falls on FDOT. Nevertheless, with this article, I'm just sharing with the community what can and can't be legally done with the structure. This is something we've glazed over in the past and Jax's streets are deadly as a result of our inability to see the forest for the trees. However, it's up to the community to decide if they want a good project or no project at all.

fieldafm

February 10, 2014, 08:09:28 AM
Quote
Is the bridge widening a done deal?  And now we're just arguing for the design elements?  Or will the meeting tonight also be to push back on the expansion as a whole? 


The bridge widening should not occur in the first place if it's going to destroy the neighborhood in the process.  The original plans called for a significant amount of right of way acquisition.

What does that mean?  It means that homes, businesses, a park and a portion of the Riverside Arts Market will be taken from the community to widen a damn road.

Any additional encroachment on the neighborhood is UNACCEPTABLE!

SunKing

February 10, 2014, 08:34:14 AM
What is the date of the open house?

thelakelander

February 10, 2014, 08:45:32 AM
Today.

carpnter

February 10, 2014, 08:48:39 AM
Personally, I'm not against FDOT attempting to improve travel flow on the highway. Ultimately, the devil is in the details of if it can be done without significant negative impact to the neighborhoods surrounding it. That proof of burden falls on FDOT. Nevertheless, with this article, I'm just sharing with the community what can and can't be legally done with the structure. This is something we've glazed over in the past and Jax's streets are deadly as a result of our inability to see the forest for the trees. However, it's up to the community to decide if they want a good project or no project at all.

Unfortunately as of late, the FDOT's attempts to improve traffic flow have been unsuccessful or have made things worse.  (i.e. 9B-N into I-295-N)

cracklow

February 10, 2014, 08:51:17 AM
What is the date of the open house?

From the article: FDOT's informal “open house” for the unveiling of their new improvement plan will be between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. This will be followed by a presentation at 6:30 p.m. and public comments. The location is the Riverside Park United Methodist Church at 819 Park Street.

thelakelander

February 10, 2014, 09:14:47 AM
Personally, I'm not against FDOT attempting to improve travel flow on the highway. Ultimately, the devil is in the details of if it can be done without significant negative impact to the neighborhoods surrounding it. That proof of burden falls on FDOT. Nevertheless, with this article, I'm just sharing with the community what can and can't be legally done with the structure. This is something we've glazed over in the past and Jax's streets are deadly as a result of our inability to see the forest for the trees. However, it's up to the community to decide if they want a good project or no project at all.

Unfortunately as of late, the FDOT's attempts to improve traffic flow have been unsuccessful or have made things worse.  (i.e. 9B-N into I-295-N)
Which is another reason why the public should pay attention to the design elements and background reasoning for FDOT projects. Getting these things right on paper can save a lot of heartache.....and public money down the road.

Tacachale

February 10, 2014, 09:30:03 AM
Thanks for the info, Lake. If FDOT wants to sell this project, a bike/ped improvement should be what they come in the door with. It shouldn't even be considered without that.

stephendare

February 10, 2014, 09:54:50 AM
So are we meeting at this hearing tonight?

I can be there if you are going, Ennis.

thelakelander

February 10, 2014, 10:34:24 AM
I'm planning on being there.

tufsu1

February 10, 2014, 02:02:46 PM
Two other multi-use trails to reference

The E-W Expressway east of downtown Orlando
The new I-275 project connecting downtown Tampa with Westshore

thelakelander

February 10, 2014, 02:29:18 PM
Two other multi-use trails to reference

The E-W Expressway east of downtown Orlando

Nice. I totally forgot about the E-W Expressway in Orlando.


http://www.johnweeks.com/cablestay/pages/sec07.html


This is identical to what something on the Fuller Warren could look like. Path starts at Park Street ramp in Five Points and ends at Palm Avenue ramp in San Marco.


http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o292/the_boomer136/408LakeUnderhillBridgeConcept.jpg

Tacachale

February 10, 2014, 02:37:48 PM
Thanks. This is a good article to email to our council members. This needs to get added to the FDOT's project before serious discussions begin.

Tacachale

February 10, 2014, 06:36:50 PM
Any word on how this went?

Charles Hunter

February 10, 2014, 06:47:36 PM
Still underway. Public comment in about 10 minutes

thelakelander

February 10, 2014, 07:40:45 PM
At the meeting now. There's pretty large support for a bike/ped component over the Fuller Warren. Not many people are in favor of the flyover at Roosevelt. Other than that, FDOT's revised $70 million plan only takes one or two homes in North Riverside for the Roosevelt flyover (which also happens to be in the bed of McCoys Creek). Oh, and to widen the Fuller Warren, they'll have to put pilings into the river.

Jaxson

February 10, 2014, 09:37:50 PM
Why does FDOT get it right in other parts of the state but cannot seem to in our area?  And are our local FDOT officials making these decisions because they assume that we either would not care or would actually embrace their proposals?  smh

thelakelander

February 10, 2014, 10:01:26 PM
Looking out how all of our major cities are some of the most deadly for cyclist and pedestrians, I'm pretty sure all our FDOT districts have their fair share of warts. Ultimately, I believe it's up to each individual community to vision what they want their future to be and to then hold all public agencies responsible for helping achieve that vision.  Historically, in Jax, we have not done that. Tonight, was pretty exciting to see so many people address their concerns in such a professional and educated manner. 

Btw, here are some cell phone pictures from tonight:









Keith-N-Jax

February 11, 2014, 12:38:30 AM
Thanks for the updates, hopefully the right decisions are made.

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

February 11, 2014, 05:46:48 AM
Thank you MetroJacksonville for keeping us informed so we can make the right decisions to help our community leaders and elected officials to the right thing.

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

February 11, 2014, 05:51:43 AM
It is extremely important that a (bike) multi-use path be incorporated into the Fuller Warren Bridge to help make JAX safer for cyclists and it help those of us who need a safe way to commute to/from work.

Just think, I others and I commuted via bike, we would have less cars clogging up the highway and there would be more room and faster commute for those of you would need to commute via car!

thelakelander

February 11, 2014, 06:18:35 AM
Cars would still clog up the road because when it boils down to it, roadway widening to resolve congestion is like buying a bigger belt to solve a weight problem. What a shared use path on the FWB will really do is economically enhance the quality of life of the neighborhoods on either side of the river, make downtown more attractive and strengthen citywide bike/ped connectivity and safety. Out of all the bridges, the Fuller Warren probably has the best slop on the ramps for non-motorized traffic.

acme54321

February 11, 2014, 07:23:06 AM
Lake,  Can you comment on the extent that they will physically widen the bridge decking?  From those plans it looks like the magenta areas are the only places they will widen the bridge.

thelakelander

February 11, 2014, 07:55:06 AM
The  magenta area is the extent of the proposed widening.

jcjohnpaint

February 11, 2014, 08:31:05 AM
Thanks always for the update. 

I-10east

February 11, 2014, 09:03:17 AM
Not many people are in favor of the flyover at Roosevelt.

I don't see anyway that isn't gonna be built. With people having to merge way left from the I-10 West ramp to Roosevelt, the flyover would eliminate that 'criss-crossing' effect that dramatically slows I-10 West traffic; It's not impossible to do now (merge to US-17)  but with a growing Jax, traffic isn't gonna get anymore thinner. Might as well get it over with now. IMO the 'right decision' would have the pedestrian component on Southbound I-95 side, along with the US-17 flyover ramp.     

tufsu1

February 11, 2014, 10:04:43 AM
What if you could relocate the 17 off-ramp on the right side? There would still be some cross-over traffic, but less than there is now

icarus

February 11, 2014, 11:13:41 AM
The same reason they essentially provided two means to merge on 95 South past Stockton. They want to eliminate all cross lane traffic to reach exits. Its dangerous and contributes to congestion.

stephendare

February 11, 2014, 11:13:54 AM
The meeting was pretty engaging and positive last night.

Preston Haskell was the highlight of the evening for me during the Public Comment section.

He has a lot of respect in the community obviously, and he speaks development, federal guideline, and building code lingo like a second language.

After the dissembling on the part of the FDOT spokesman to open the meeting, Haskell got up and gave a pretty dry scholarly doctoral dissertation on why the widening is unecessary and probably boneheaded.

After a certain level of detail on the various governing codes, he pretty much lost everyone in the room except for the transportation officials----who were clearly being depressed by his comments.

I remarked to Melody Bishop that he spoke 'Codesperanto" pretty fluently and that judging from the effect of his comments that he was going to speak the FDOT representative into an early grave.

Robin Lumb, to his credit, spoke very well and succinctly to the issue as did Jim Love, Their points about process, community input and the need for bicycle and walking access on the bridge were concise, well argued and had visible landing on the FDOT officials.

I think the really surprising speakers of the evening were

1.  Jonathan Oliff, the attorney for RAP, who is really a remarkable young speaker when he isnt working for the Dark Side.  He nailed the perfidious attempt on the part of the FDOT to intentionally confuse the public about the legality of bicycle transit on the bridge.

2.  A representative from the Riverkeeper, who argued passionately about the need to make sure that the construction along the river doesnt damage the natural ecosystem. (she was just wonderful and thought provoking)

3.  A young man from the Ukraine in tomato colored pants and a blazer.  He spoke very eloquently and suggested that in other cities across the world, people are actually tearing down these kinds of highways, not making them supercharged.

At one point he suggested tearing down our highways.

Kay Ehas, who was standing over by me, Robin Lumb, the Bishops (Melody and Bill) and Preston Haskell, let out a war whoop.

Robin turned over his shoulder and said:  Kay, we arent going to get rid of cars......

I replied:  No, we'll just get rid of bicyclists.

Kay:  Yep, just keep killing them.

Robin rolled his eyes but registered that he didnt have much of an argument to that.

It seems like they deliberately scaled back the project to deal with RAPs concerns, mostly.

They estimated the cost at about 70 million, down from 130 million, and promised not to disrupt the RAM.

urbanlibertarian

February 11, 2014, 11:24:02 AM
Why would they bother responding to local concerns?  Isn't FDOT omnipotent?

stephendare

February 11, 2014, 11:25:58 AM
Well to be honest they kind of have to, non?  This is a last minute district project, and its not like the dollars wouldnt be hotly desired in other districts of Florida.

They have their own politics, and whenever there is a citizens revolt on a building project like this that was clearly designed to spend a little extra money, it becomes fodder for the next round of trough guzzling.

Bennet, the local guy who apparently makes the decisions for the area, was a brown study as he listened tersely and nearly wordlessly to the audience.

edjax

February 11, 2014, 12:23:31 PM
Are they going back to look at changes again based upon the meeting?  Or was it just a thanks for the input and we now move forward? 

stephendare

February 11, 2014, 12:28:18 PM
depends on how long anyone pays attention to them and what the follow up is.

I know Mike Webster likes to dismissively refer to this group as 'just a website' whenever we talk about walkability and density, but on the other hand, none of us (everyone reading included) are the type to just lose track of an issue.

Right now we are the only media really paying attention to the issue, but we do have pretty large readership numbers, and I do think that our brethren media will end up covering it.

It seems stupid to have the funds available, to have a construction project across the river already on the board and not make this bridge useful to something else besides cars.

thelakelander

February 11, 2014, 12:30:37 PM
Shannon Blankinship was the young intelligent lady speaking on behalf of the river and McCoys Creek. She did a great job.

urbaknight

February 11, 2014, 12:32:36 PM
I certainly hope that they do add the bicycle/pedestrian path on the FWB. My favorite view of DT is when crossing that bridge. To be able to cross on foot or bike would be just wonderful!

stephendare

February 11, 2014, 12:33:07 PM
One thing is clear however, our regional office is clearly used to a completely apathetic public that only tunes in when a NIMBY frequency is on the radio.  It seems baffling to me that the project, easily remedied, could have had such a ham handed original concept.

Also, they are used to people simply taking their word for things as the attempt to hornswoggle the public into thinking that multi use paths are somehow illegal and off the table.

It would seem to me that the regional office has a very limited amount of interaction with the actual community.  Don't know whose fault that is.

thelakelander

February 11, 2014, 12:34:18 PM
Are they going back to look at changes again based upon the meeting?  Or was it just a thanks for the input and we now move forward? 
Continue to hold their feet to the fire and you'll end up with something decent. Let them go at this alone and you'll end up with an auto centric product that negatively impacts everything that doesn't run on gasoline.

stephendare

February 11, 2014, 12:34:34 PM
Shannon Blankinship was the young intelligent lady speaking on behalf of the river and McCoys Creek. She did a great job.

Really a tremendous speaker, and an unusual amount of persuasive clarity.

Definitely an asset to the organization.

Did anyone catch the Ukrainian guy's name?

thelakelander

February 11, 2014, 12:36:47 PM
I certainly hope that they do add the bicycle/pedestrian path on the FWB. My favorite view of DT is when crossing that bridge. To be able to cross on foot or bike would be just wonderful!
Given the location and manageable slopes, it would be a decent attraction...just like the one in Charleston.

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

February 11, 2014, 04:15:08 PM
Are they going back to look at changes again based upon the meeting?  Or was it just a thanks for the input and we now move forward? 
Continue to hold their feet to the fire and you'll end up with something decent. Let them go at this alone and you'll end up with an auto centric product that negatively impacts everything that doesn't run on gasoline.

Indeed, it's up to us to hold their feet and attention to the fire.

Because of the large and vocal response from citizens at the meeting about the need to take bicycle lames / multi use paths are desired and required, then the next time they are in the very early stages of road planning, they will take cyclists and pedestrians into consideration without laughing us off the table.

Tacachale

February 11, 2014, 04:53:18 PM
^Very much. It's a good idea to let our city council representatives know this is valued; as I said before the FDOT should have a bike/ped improvement when they come in the door, before any real consideration is given one way or the other. In fact, this article is a good thing to give to our representatives so they can see these improvements are simple and entirely feasible. Fortunately, it sounds like they understand the issues at hand, so it's not like we're moving mountains here.

tayana42

February 11, 2014, 09:44:52 PM
In a recent speech, the Mayor of Oklahoma City said, "We had built an incredible quality of life…..if you were a car".
He goes on to say that their concern for their obesity problem, they built bicycle paths, pedestrian walkways and sidewalks, and more parks.

http://www.ted.com/talks/mick_cornett_how_an_obese_town_lost_a_million_pounds.html 

We need that kind of thinking in our city.

icarus

February 11, 2014, 09:53:21 PM
In a recent speech, the Mayor of Oklahoma City said, "We had built an incredible quality of life…..if you were a car".
He goes on to say that their concern for their obesity problem, they built bicycle paths, pedestrian walkways and sidewalks, and more parks.

http://www.ted.com/talks/mick_cornett_how_an_obese_town_lost_a_million_pounds.html 

We need that kind of thinking in our city.
+100

Noone

February 12, 2014, 06:50:18 AM
The canal along I-595? It's been that way for decades now. I doubt the canal is natural as well. I'm pretty sure it was one of many that helped drain the Everglades to allow for most of the sprawl in that section of Broward County.

Respectfully disagree. Was at the Main St. Bridge yesterday and noticed the beautiful Spartina grass that is next to MOSH and the Main St. bridge. And if it's not Spartina grass than someone correct me. With the freezes it's brown but what a jewel that has been unearthed with the peeling away of the Southbank Riverwalk. It has had decades to develop and mature. You just don't replace this stuff with the snap of a finger.

DIA Board member Melody Bishop at a recent DIA Board meeting mentioned that MOSH may be interested in this for a kayak launch. Super! I hope it happens. Let us all cross our fingers that the plan isn't to tear out this and concrete it over. This project was never before Waterways.

There is a meeting of the Jacksonville Waterways Commission in council chambers today in 2 hours 9am. What another gift horse for Downtown Development.

thelakelander

February 12, 2014, 07:01:02 AM
You don't have to agree. It's either fact or fiction. If you've seen it in person, it's pretty easy to see it's not natural:

Quote
Prior to the 20th century, the New River originated in the Everglades as two streams, the North Fork and South Fork, which merged and flowed about three miles into Lake Mabel, a coastal lagoon. The river was heavily modified in the first half of the 20th century. The North Fork was extended as the C-12 Canal along present-day Sunrise Boulevard, while the South Fork was extended by two canals: the G-15 or North New River Canal (created by 1912 to help drain the Everglades) and the C-11 or South New River Canal, which connects to the Miami Canal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_River_(Broward_County,_Florida)

Noone

February 12, 2014, 07:23:02 AM
Still as you seek to retain old structures the same can be said for our Waterways and trees that provide a canopy. Lets  all get excited about that rocky bank.

thelakelander

February 12, 2014, 07:38:32 AM
Ok. I never said I wasn't happy for them utilizing G-15 as a greenway. I've actually used the I-595 expansion project as an example of what our FDOT district should be doing instead of being so auto centric focused. That project adds a shared use path along the canal, 3 express bus lines, a spot for future elevated fixed rail and reversible express lanes.
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