Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is proposing to resurface Kings Road in the summer of 2016. This resurfacing project allows the FDOT to revisit the striping of the roadway. Currently the road is striped as a four-lane roadway with no bike lanes or center turn lane.
FDOT is evaluating the following different concepts for the portion of the corridor from Tyler Street to Martha Street.
1) Leaving the corridor as is (resurfacing the corridor and leaving the striping as four lanes with no turn lane or bike lanes).
2) Leaving the corridor striped as is but adding protected green arrow phases to existing signalized intersections with high left turn volumes.
3) Reducing the road to one travel lane in each direction and adding a dedicated turn lane and 5 foot paved bike lanes.
See proposed concept renderings HERE,.
Here's four reasons why reducing the road to one travel lane in each direction should be the preferred concept.
1. Pedestrian Safety
According to Smart Growth America, Jacksonville ranks as the third worst city in the country for pedestrians. With a population density of nearly 6,000 residents per square mile, the neighborhood Kings Road severs is one of Jacksonville's densest. In addition, Kings Road literally splits a college campus in half. It is proven that three lane roadways are easier to cross than four lanes undivided roadways.Given Jacksonville's abysmal pedestrian safety track record and the surrounding urban environment, it should not even be a debate on if the option that best enhances safety for all modes of mobility should be selected. If we're interested in saving lives, implement the concept that reduces pedestrian accidents.
2. Auto Crash Reductions
Kings Road through the campus of Edward Waters College
Four-lane undivided roadways are antiquated roadway designs from an era that has long passed us by. A road diet creates the opportunities to add dedicated turn lanes and protected left turn signals at intersections. Turn lanes reduce rear end crashes and left turn signal phases reduce right angle automobile crashes. In fact, according to CityLab.com, a 2013 study of 4-lane to 3-lane diets found major safety benefits: a 47 percent drop in crashes in small metros, and a 19 percent dip in big cities.
Kings Road just east of Edward Waters College