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Downtown Jacksonville's Laura Street One Of 15 'Great Places' In U.S.

Laura Street sidewalk
R-A-M Professional Group

Downtown Jacksonville’s Laura Street has been named one of the country’s 15 Great Places made better by city planners.

The vibrant street that touches the Landing, City Hall and the Main Public Library got a pedestrian-friendly makeover a few years back.

The Great Place honor comes from the American Planning Association, a group of thousands of city planners and officials.

“They’re looking for places that are special,” says the association’s First Coast Chapter Chairman Wiatt Bowers.

He says Jacksonville residents are benefitting from Laura Street’s conversion from a one-way to a two-way street with wider sidewalks, more street parking and trees with lights. Those changes paved the way for more businesses and street festivals including the monthly Art Walk.

This month’s, on Oct. 7, will be extra pedestrian-friendly, Bowers says.

“Next week, the entire street, from Hemming Park down to the Landing, will be closed and a pedestrian space,” he says. “That’s what makes it a great space.”

He says Art Walk attendees will be invited to celebrate the Planning Association’s Great Place designation at the event.

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