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Beaver Street to be Reconstructed

The controversial Fuller Warren Bridge widening isn't the only urban core roadway project that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has their eyes set on. The FDOT is also moving forward with plans to rehabilitate West Beaver Street.

Published January 8, 2014 in Transit      16 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article



View looking down Beaver Street from the King Street intersection in 1953.

In early 2013, a conceptual design to "right size" Beaver Street was considered by the FDOT and endorsed by the City Council. Right-sizing Beaver would have involved reducing the 4-lane section to a 3-lane section with one 12-foot travel lane in each direction, one 12-foot center turn lane, bike lanes on each side as well as new curbs, gutters and sidewalks. At the time, it was believed that this "road diet" would substantially reduce accidents and cause only slight intersection delays and reductions on average vehicle travel speed. The addition of bike lanes on Beaver Street was viewed as a potential solution to connect the area with the S-Line Greenway, Springfield, Riverside and


Could the reconstruction of Beaver Street assist in the redevelopment of this early 20th century warehouse district? Only time will tell.

A few months later, FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad spoke out against road diet projects that would result in less capacity for moving cars. While it is unknown if Prasad's position had any direct influence on the Beaver Street project, the plan to "right size" the street by adding bike lanes has since been abandoned by the FDOT.

Current plans will add 6-foot sidewalks and an extra foot in width to each of the existing four travel lanes. Turning radius at major intersections will also be increased to aid truck movement along the industrial corridor. The reconstruction project is expected to cost $13.25 million.  Roughly, $650,000 will be used to acquire needed right-of-way along the constrained roadway. Construction is scheduled to begin in October 2015.



This image highlights sidewalk conditions near WhiteWave Food's dairy at Beaver and King Streets. Beaver Street is currently a roadway with several gaps within its sidewalk network. This project will resolve this situation, increasing pedestrian safety for the Robinson's Addition neighborhood.


Next Page: Plans for Beaver Street




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16 Comments

Kay

January 08, 2014, 07:53:20 AM
So the problem with FDOT starts at the very top.  Did they have drawings for the road diet plan?  Can we get them?

Did the City Council since approve the widening as they approved the road diet?

thelakelander

January 08, 2014, 08:13:05 AM
I don't have drawings of the old road diet concept. If they still exist, I guess one could make a public records request.  However, I assume it would have been nearly identical to the Hendricks Avenue and Tallulah Avenue road diets. All our old constrained and narrow undivided four-lane roads are about the same width.  This video of a similar scaled road diet in Minneapolis has a pretty decent before and after shot (0:35 and 1:30).

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/O6pA8pwOMts" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/O6pA8pwOMts</a>

gedo3

January 08, 2014, 08:20:06 AM
No matter what the topic, I always enjoy the history of our city that has been researched so much!  Thanks for all your efforts!

Captain Zissou

January 08, 2014, 08:53:22 AM
On one hand, there is a good deal of freight traffic on Beaver street. On the other hand, dozens of children cross the road from The Hollybrook Apts to West Jax elementary. I would have liked to see a more middle ground solution, but this seems to tip farther towards moving cars and trucks than moving people.

thelakelander

January 08, 2014, 09:14:36 AM
It does. The benefit to pedestrians would be sidewalks on both sides of the street and hopefully, safer intersections to cross. Right now, that's not the case.

Captain Zissou

January 08, 2014, 09:39:23 AM
Unless they put in cross walks and 4 foot medians at the intersections, it will be very hard for pedestrians to get across. When my mentee was 8, he and all his friends would cross beaver to get to school. 45 feet is a long way for a child to cross without a median, regardless of how wide the sidewalks are on either side.

thelakelander

January 08, 2014, 09:45:17 AM
Oh, I agree that it's definitely not ideal conditions for the couple thousand residents and children living in the vicinity of Beaver.

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

January 08, 2014, 11:04:01 AM
Can you please provide clarification whether badly needed bike lanes will be added to Beaver Street or being cut out of the plan?

Bike lanes should be required on all road construction & reconstruction in our area.

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

January 08, 2014, 11:07:42 AM
I'm excited that over the loan term, a better designed Beaver Street will more easily connect historic Springfield with historic Murray Hill and the greater Riverside/Avondale neighborhoods.

thelakelander

January 08, 2014, 11:14:04 AM
Bike lanes were originally a part of the plan. They are no longer a part of the plan. All four existing lanes will be maintained. Sidewalks will be added to both sides of the street (currently there's no sidewalk on the south side).

Bike Jax

January 08, 2014, 11:50:46 AM
I was told the reason for not going ahead with the road diet as planned and supported by the numbers from FDOT studies is that Beaver St (AKA US90) is an evacuation route and needed to be kept the way it is to allow for maximum traffic if needed. So roads are planned biased on the need of auto traffic that may or may occur once event 60 to 70 years.

thelakelander

January 08, 2014, 12:03:09 PM
Looking at aerials, Broadway Avenue parallels Beaver one block north the entire length of the project. Would it make sense for that to be a biking corridor via some use of signage identifying that it actually exists?

Bike Jax

January 08, 2014, 12:21:33 PM
Looking at aerials, Broadway Avenue parallels Beaver one block north the entire length of the project. Would it make sense for that to be a biking corridor via some use of signage identifying that it actually exists?

Beaver was the optimum choice because it connected King & Stockton Streets From Riverside/Avondale to the Famers Market from the west and continued to Myrtle to connect with the S-Line for Springfield Residents.

suburbanite

January 08, 2014, 05:54:00 PM
This section of Beaver needed modernization badly, it's about time. There is way too much traffic volume to downgrade to two lanes, it needs four. The few cyclists have other options, the many commercial trucks do not; and there are too few cyclists on this road to justify the cost of eminent domain widening. The crossing at King needs to be addressed to accommodate the children in the area, though I don't recall any pedestrians incidents there.
FYI: My birth certificate lists my parents' address as "Lake City Highway", as Beaver was also referred to in the early '60's.

tufsu1

January 08, 2014, 10:11:05 PM
From what I have heard, the road diet concept was analyzed and Beaver Street seemed to function ok.  But some errors and omissions were found and when re-analyzed there were major traffic deficiencies (failing automobile level of service) at many of the intersections.  FDOT was not willing to accept those conditions, so the road diet idea was dropped.

Kay

January 09, 2014, 06:34:18 AM
My concern are the turn radius widths at the intersections.  Please tell me they are not proposing what they did at Forrest and Park which is the most hideous intersection in an urban setting I have ever seen.
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