Traffic at Old St. Augustine Road, I-295 a concern

Residents hope for traffic study to improve safety

Author: Ashley Mitchem, Morning traffic, news reporter, amitchem@wjxt.com
Published On: Sep 04 2013 11:45:14 AM EDT   Updated On: Sep 04 2013 06:48:43 PM EDT
Mandarin traffic
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Some Mandarin residents are frustrated about the traffic on Old St. Augustine Road just south of Interstate 295.

"The traffic is horrendous, absolutely horrendous, and it's scary. It's very dangerous," said Barbara Naif, president of Mandarin Ridge Homeowners Association.

Naif, a former Jacksonville police officer, said neighbors have several concerns with having heavy traffic in the area. One is child safety because there are four schools in the immediate vicinity.

To add to the problem, a new neighborhood is coming into the area, which will put more cars on the road.

Drivers get backed up in the turn lane without leaving space for people to enter Old St. Augustine Road southbound.

"They will back up all the way to the Gate gas station, which is almost another eighth of a mile," Naif said. "So we have to go down or up Old St. Augustine Road to make a U-turn one or two traffic lights."

There are many wrecks because of all the backups. Neighbors think something has to be done before the new homes are built and the situation gets worse.

"If they had done a study in the morning, perhaps your video will show what we are up against. They would not turn it down. I feel sure they would not turn it down," Naif said.

Residents hope a traffic study will be done to prove to the city the area needs a traffic light at the intersection of Old St. Augustine and Barkoskie roads.

In response to Naif's concern for the intersection, division Chief Terry Theriault from the Right of Way and Grounds Maintenance Division of the Department of Public Works says, "We currently have a consulting engineering firm evaluating this intersection to see what can be done to improve safety, hopefully without a significant loss in level of service. Thank you for your input in this matter. Right-of-Way and Grounds Maintenance Division employees are striving to provide quality services to our citizens."