71ºF

Changes proposed for Five Points intersection

Proposal to change intersection to roundabout has become hot-button issue

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The iconic Five Points intersection in Jacksonville’s Riverside neighborhood is not quite a roundabout, and not quite a five-way stop.

But business owners in the area have started looking at proposals to change the intersection and make it safer.

Five Points is known for diversity, an electric business scene and the very confusing intersection. So when conversations about making improvements to the intersection began three years ago, some business owners, like Cheryl Corrado, were on board.

But recently, she said her opinion shifted.

“Two months ago, three months ago, I started hearing, ‘Roundabout going in’ and that changed everything,” Corrado said.

Corrado is the co-owner of The Derby on Park, a restaurant and bar located right at the point of Park and Margaret streets.

She said the real problem at the intersection isn’t the flow of traffic.

“We see everything that takes place in subdivisions, and it never is a problem. Traffic flows, it’s not traffic backup. Our issue is pedestrian traffic and making it more pedestrian-friendly in Five Points,” Corrado said.

The merchants association, Riverside Avondale Preservation and Jacksonville leaders have all been a part of meetings to decide what to do about the intersection.

But the roundabout has become a hot-button issue, with many like Corrado worried it could make the intersection more dangerous for pedestrians.

But some, like architect and former City Councilman Bill Bishop, have voiced support for it in the past, saying it’s the best option for this growing area.

Corrado said she welcomes improvements to the intersection, but wants it to be what’s best for everyone.

“The plan’s not bad. The roundabout – absolutely not. It’s just, the merchants and even the residents in the area are like, ‘This would be awful for the area,’” Corrado said.

A city representative told News4Jax that the city has no official involvement in the plans.

News4Jax also reached out to Bishop, but has not yet heard back.