Crosswalk coming to Jacksonville's Avondale community

Push to make walking in Riverside safer is seeing success

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Avondale residents have spoken, and their voices have been heard. Their push to make walking  safer in their community is seeing success with a new crosswalk. 

Several business owners on Herschel Street felt a need for a crosswalk following a series of crashes out side their businesses.

A deadly accident in March on Herschel Street was the tipping point.

Those who work and live there have said it’s a dangerous area. They had to do something about. 

The staff at Soluna Yoga and Spa set things into motion. The studio started a petition to make Herschel Street safer by having crosswalks installed between Melrose and Beverly Avenues.

Their hard work is now paying off.

The shops as a whole collected 465 signatures, which they turned over to the Florida Department of Transportation.

“This was designed to be a walkable neighborhood to go to the schools and to the churches in the area and we love the growth but we just wanted to maintain the safety for the neighborhood,” said Studio Manager, Sonya Hanlin. “As citizens, I just wanted to show that small people- we can do things if we put our mind to it and just take the proper steps, just bring change to our neighborhood.”

Farther down the road, the owner of Bagel Love, Brian Morrissey said the strip on Hershel has needed safety changes for a long time.

“We were originally going to go in that location but the site and the traffic is so bad- what a terrible place to be where people are trying to get in and out not even walking across just to pull out from the road. It’s really dangerous,” said Morrissey.

Following a traffic study, FDOT has recommended the installation of a marked crosswalk with a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon like the ones already installed on St. Johns Avenue in Avondale. It will be installed near the Chomp Chomp restaurant.

“It is going to help because drivers go really fast down the street, take off down the road, they race out of there. It’s hard to see because the road kind of crowns down the street, recess back, so it’s really hard to see,” said Mark Stone, owner of Carpet Concepts. 

It will take 18 months before construction can begin. In the meantime other safety precautions will be taken. FDOT will trim the trees in the area to make it a little bit more visible.  It will also paint off the corners so there’s no parking on the corners- which will improve the visibility.