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Downtown Investment Authority To Tackle Pedestrian Friendliness, Free Wi-Fi, Art

City of Jacksonville

The Jacksonville City Council is handing over financial control over Downtown development to the Downtown Investment Authority. A host of proposed projects and a first-year budget of $2.5 million were approved at last night’s Council meeting.

Investment Authority CEO Aundra Wallace says immediate priorities include making the Southbank’s Riverplace Boulevard more pedestrian friendly.

“Not only on the Southbank but equally as well on the Northbank, we want to begin to look at one-way street conversions to two-way streets. We need to begin to take a look at the lighting, making Downtown much more aesthetically appealing in this first year," he said. 

Wallace says he’s also working to bring free wireless Internet to areas like Hemming Park—ideally in time for April’s One Spark festival. And he also has a budget of more than $400,000 for new public art. 

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP