Jacksonville not commuter friendly

Many drivers think River City needs commute improvements

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Whether people are coming across the Matthews Bridge to work, along Interstate 10 or 95, they're probably less than satisfied with the time it takes to get to to their destination.

According to a new study by the U.S. Cencus Bureau, Jacksonville is below average when it comes to being commuter friendly.

When it comes to traffic on Jacksonville's roadways, and the time it takes to drive to and from work, the River City ranks relatively low among cities considered to be commuter friendly.

According to the findings, Jacksonville scores 158th out of 269 major cities, and average drivers said this needs some improvement.

"I spent more of my life in my car than anywhere else because everything is spread out," said driver Cher Holy.

Driver Keith Hopkins said, "With it being so large, it is hard to commute with mass transportation. You have to have a vehicle in Jacksonville."

Most drivers we talked to say they'd rather spend more time in their car, than live closer to their jobs near the downtown area. In fact 46 percent of Jacksonville commuters drive 15 to 29 minutes one way to work. 23 percent of Jacksonville's drivers spend about 45 minutes behind the wheel.

So Channel 4 asked locals: "Why not live downtown if you work here?"

"There's nowhere to live downtown," one driver said.

"It needs to be safe. I've been to The Landing several times and on several occasions approached by people I wish didn't approach me," Holy said.

One of Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown is to make downtown vibrant again.

"My vision for downtown is I want people to work downtown, live downtown, visit downtown. I want downtown to be a destination."

According to the locals, the city has all the potential to make it happen.

"You've got the waterfront, careers, jobs and it's centrally located to everything," driver Jamie Sandifer said.

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