JTA Looks At Making Northside More Pedestrian Friendly, Well Lit

Jan 13, 2016

A sign at a JTA community charette is filled in with residents' concerns about the Moncrief Road-Myrtle Avenue-8th Street corridor on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
Credit Beatrice Sanchez / WJCT News

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is asking for Northside residents’ ideas as it begins transforming Moncrief Road, Myrtle Avenue and 8th Street.

The area is one of 14 corridors JTA hopes to improve over the next five years through the JTAMobilityWorks project.

 

Engineer Richard Fangmann was in the passenger seat in a car driving down Moncrief Road Wednesday. He pointed out different problem areas.

 

Maps of the Northside corridor hang at the Emmett Reed Center this week as engineers gather community input.
Credit Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

“As you can see, this is one of those sections where it’s very wide lanes and so people just go very fast down here because it’s18 feet wide open,” he said.

This area, which interests with Myrtle Avenue and 8th Street, is under JTA’s review.

“The good thing is it gives us an opportunity to look at how we use that pavement width for things like bike lanes, or do we need parking lanes?” Fangmann said.

Fangmann is with Pond and Co., the engineering firm tasked with developing a mobility plan for the Northside community. Fangmann says a lot of area residents tell him they ride bikes and walk, but the roads aren’t designed properly for that.

“Another thing that we didn’t know a lot about when we started here was that there’s a need in some areas for improvements to lighting and making sure that places are secure because they’ve got good lighting for folks who walk at night,” he said.

 

Rough sketches are strewn around tables at the Emmett Reed Center on Jacksonville's Northside.
Credit Beatrice Sanchez / WJCT News

Fangmann says his company will continue taking feedback Thursday and present all its findings a 5 p.m. Thursday in the Emmett Reed Center at 1093 W. 6th St.

JTAMobilityWorks is funded through the sale of bonds after the city extended a local gas tax in 2014.

JTA has $100 million to use for road and neighborhood projects, with $15 million set aside for the 14 corridors. JTA spokeswoman Leigh Ann Rassler says the transportation authority will also look for other funding sources.