Author Topic: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet  (Read 4164 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« on: August 28, 2015, 03:00:02 AM »

Kay

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Re: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2015, 06:30:15 AM »
It does not appear that the width of the road is being reduced.  It's being used differently but that doesn't make it shorter for pedestrians to cross.  Also, I find continuous left turn lanes dangerous. 

The Tampa example does not appear to include a continuous left turn lane.  I think there needs to be additional options.

thelakelander

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Re: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2015, 07:01:02 AM »
Going from 4 to 3 lanes, means you have one less lane of traffic to worry about when crossing the street. That means your conflict points are reduced. You also have the ability to break up that center turn lane with median islands and pedestrian refuges, which further reduce the conflict points for pedestrians.  I agree that a new, modified alternative needs to be created, incorporating such elements.

The Tampa example clearly shows you can design a road diet in a manner that doesn't result in the stacking negative that these limited options, created so far, suggest.  Here's more images of the Tampa example. It's a MetroRapid BRT line, so buses stop every 15 minutes.















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jaxnyc79

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Re: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2015, 08:23:13 AM »
Along many of the roads both in-town and in the 'burbs, there's usually a grassy strip between the sidewalk and curbside.  It seems like it creates yet another mowing obligation.  Is that strictly aesthetic?  Might there be savings in ongoing maintenance costs in getting rid of that grassy strip and just putting the sidewalk right off the curb?


Going from 4 to 3 lanes, means you have one less lane of traffic to worry about when crossing the street. That means your conflict points are reduced. You also have the ability to break up that center turn lane with median islands and pedestrian refuges, which further reduce the conflict points for pedestrians.  I agree that a new, modified alternative needs to be created, incorporating such elements.

The Tampa example clearly shows you can design a road diet in a manner that doesn't result in the stacking negative that these limited options, created so far, suggest.  Here's more images of the Tampa example. It's a MetroRapid BRT line, so buses stop every 15 minutes.

















ricker

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Re: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015, 01:17:46 AM »
Reducing the length of time a pedestrian is in the road while crossing by reducing the distance between curbs at intersections is a concept easy to understand and garner support in such a setting such as EWC.  The Administration has been excited about the possibility of this project becoming reality beyond a sheet of paper.  For more highly visible local examples, does anyone have a pic to post of Park and King when Cotney tire stood where Walgreens now is?  It's difficult to fathom precisely WHY anyone who has experienced the benefits of a "right-size" retrofit would offer any opposition.

Before King St in Riverside, South of College had curb-extensions/bump-outs/bulb-outs, or any medians, it was not nearly the economic driver or catalyst for foot traffic it has become. 

The very presence of Jacksonville's stalwart Edward Waters College merits a close look at how this heavily traveled important thoroughfare can be at least repainted and marked with pedestrian focused signage and features so that motorists local and otherwise are given some clue and are prompted to reduce their speed and keep their eyes moving, head on a swivel as they are passing through an expanding college campus. 

The inclusion of bike lanes, reduced MAX speed, high-visibility crosswalks on Kings Rd east from Martha to the Post Office near I95 would provide a more far reaching impact.  As the old James Weldon campus continues to be used by EWC, this project cannot become reality soon enough.  Focusing on just the small segment of Kings Rd. currently severing the campus without considering better, safer connectivity to the Urban Core and at least Myrtle Ave may be considered short-sighted.   

EWC, a private school, has continually rebuilt, improved and expanded, despite hurdles and obstacles at times making funds scarce.  Including the creation of the recently established Writing Department and repurposing under-utilized space in a structure already owned by the school, the center has continued and increased its multi-faceted approach to its focus on curriculum cohesion while improving their standards of accreditation. 
As adjacent multi-family buildings have been converted into dormitories, and an additional JSO substation now abuts the campus, it makes fiscal sense to think beyond the frontage of the campus and include the cross-streets closer into Downtown when penciling in bike lanes and pedestrian focused safety features.  Reaching slightly beyond the currently proposed project limits in order to connect students more safely into Downtown - East of I95, would provide a better longterm impact. 
Nonetheless, starting with the campus frontage and marking its identity will improve walking time for students who frequently must literally run between classes.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 02:33:01 AM by ricker »

NIMBY

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Re: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 03:13:08 PM »
Word is that the local residents who actually spoke said (literally) "thanks, but no thanks" to the road diet plan at the public hearing last week.  If you're FDOT, what do you do at this point?

thelakelander

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Re: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 03:29:37 PM »
^Speaking from experience, it's a little more complicated than just going with the comments of the few who show up at the meetings. If that were the deciding factor, there would be no First Coast Expressway and we'd have either streetcars or commuter rail instead of BRT-lite.

For example, were there a lot of EWC students present at the meeting? That group more than likely represents the lion's share of that segment's pedestrians. School should just be starting back up, so will there be some outreach to that group? My guess is if there significant outreach to EWC's students, just the age group and impacted setting alone, could lead to a completely different perspective.

Then, you'd have to evaluate the reasons why people are against a certain concept shown in a public setting.  In many cases, the issue may be resolved by combining the best parts of various alternatives, leading to a completely new alternative altogether. The road diet concept was presented as it would lead the traffic backups and delays. That's not true if the design is one that allows travel to not have to stack behind stopped buses (similar to Tampa's Nebraska Avenue). However, that was not an option presented and it's not known if FDOT D2 is willing to do anything different from the options presented last week. Others may believe that the neighborhood would be better off economically if there were four lanes instead of three. The neighborhood has been in decline for more than 50 years, so the four-lanes that are there, aren't exactly pulling in new businesses and investment.

So without knowing the number in attendance, overall reach of the public involvement plan for this project, and what levels FDOT is willing to divert from the concepts shown so far, it's hard to identify what "locals" really want. Ultimately, if I'm FDOT, I'd take all the comments, evaluate them with the Department's best practices and up-to-date design standards and move forward with what appears to be the most responsible (safe) option for that particular built environment, given the existing right-of-way constraints.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 03:44:46 PM by thelakelander »
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NIMBY

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Re: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2015, 02:02:42 PM »
FDOT has conceded to public input and will leave Kings Road as a 4-lane, undivided corridor and will add green arrow (protected) left turn movements through signalization improvements.

thelakelander

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Re: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2015, 02:41:07 PM »
Considering the way the options where presented, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the option that was desired all along. If I were a betting man, I'd say when the next milling and resurfacing opportunity comes (another decade or so), local sentiment will have changed, leading to a different outcome.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

NIMBY

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Re: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2015, 10:32:13 AM »
Considering the way the options where presented, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the option that was desired all along. If I were a betting man, I'd say when the next milling and resurfacing opportunity comes (another decade or so), local sentiment will have changed, leading to a different outcome.

I disagree that it was presented in an underhanded way with a predetermined conclusion.  Ultimately, the locals (and former locals, which seemed to be most of the speakers) heard the potential benefits of a road diet for safety and economic development and with open eyes, chose speed and throughput.  I do agree that if road diets continue to be implemented in the wealthier areas of town, this corridor will want it during the next mill and resurface cycle.

UNFurbanist

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Re: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2015, 10:43:56 AM »
There probably isn't enough density yet but I think that people lacked some vision on this one.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 12:44:00 PM by UNFurbanist »

thelakelander

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Re: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2015, 11:07:09 AM »
I disagree that it was presented in an underhanded way with a predetermined conclusion.  Ultimately, the locals (and former locals, which seemed to be most of the speakers) heard the potential benefits of a road diet for safety and economic development and with open eyes, chose speed and throughput.

I never said it was presented in an underhanded way. However, the options shown were traditional and not creative. If they were, you would not have had to select speed over safety and economic development. All would have been accommodated in a single option.

Quote
I do agree that if road diets continue to be implemented in the wealthier areas of town, this corridor will want it during the next mill and resurface cycle.

They will. There's nothing going on that's going to result in significant economic revitalization of the Kings Road corridor at the moment.  In 10 years or so, we'll be pondering the same questions we are today.

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

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Re: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2015, 11:12:44 AM »
There probably isn't enough density yet but I think they people lacked some vision on this one.
Enough density for what? That neighborhood is one of the densest and most transit dependent in town. A higher percentage of residents also bike and walk, compared to other areas of the city. I can't blame the residents for lacking vision. Based on the options made available, a choice had to be made, one way or the other, that would favor one mode of travel over another. It doesn't have to always be that way. As the rest of the world continues to find solutions that properly balance modes within constrained right-of-way, conservative areas like this one will have enough precedence needed to try a few new things.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

UNFurbanist

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Re: Why Kings Road is ready for a road diet
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2015, 12:45:20 PM »
There probably isn't enough density yet but I think they people lacked some vision on this one.
Enough density for what? That neighborhood is one of the densest and most transit dependent in town. A higher percentage of residents also bike and walk, compared to other areas of the city. I can't blame the residents for lacking vision. Based on the options made available, a choice had to be made, one way or the other, that would favor one mode of travel over another. It doesn't have to always be that way. As the rest of the world continues to find solutions that properly balance modes within constrained right-of-way, conservative areas like this one will have enough precedence needed to try a few new things.

You're right. It just takes time around here I guess. :/