Bills push to make Jacksonville roads safer for pedestrians

3 bills requesting money for flashing crosswalks to be presented to City Council

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - There's a new push to make Jacksonville roads safer for walkers and bicyclists.

Three bills, asking for money for flashing-light crosswalks, will be presented next week to the Jacksonville City Council.

Near DuPont Middle School, highly-visible crosswalk signs with flashing lights were added at the intersection of St. Augustine and Galicia roads after a 67-year-old woman was struck by a car and killed while crossing the street in 2014.

North of that intersection, cars were seen whizzing down San Marco Boulevard on Friday. Some drivers stopped for pedestrians, but others didn't think twice about them.

Two crosswalk stop signs were recently installed at the intersection of San Marco Boulevard and Riviera Street to halt traffic so pedestrians can safely walk across San Marco Boulevard. But earlier this month, News4Jax cameras captured drivers paying no attention to the signs as people tried to cross.

RELATED: Cameras capture drivers ignoring crosswalk signs at San Marco intersection

Monte Selim walks in the area often and told News4Jax that she feels safe, but said there’s always room for improvement.

"(See) what's going on here -- there's cars stopping. Cars not stopping," Selim said, pointing to the intersection where people were trying to walk. "(A) flashing light could definitely help."

It was clear that not everyone stopped for pedestrians using the crosswalk, despite the signs reminding drivers it's the law.

That's why Jacksonville residents who News4Jax spoke with on Friday hope more money is approved by the City Council for making crosswalks safer.

One bill that will be presented to council members would provide $250,000 to buy and install crosswalks with flashing signals at 10 Jacksonville intersections. According to the city, 88 intersections need the flashing signals, and the quicker they can be installed, the safer walkers and bicyclists will be.

Another bill would use a $1.1 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation to provide pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements to seven Jacksonville intersections, all of which are located on the State Highway System.

NOTE: Use the interactive map below to see the locations of the seven intersections. News4Jax app users, press the box in the top right corner of the map to view it full screen.

The third bill would provide $150,000 for developing a public awareness and community education program about drivers' responsibility for sharing the road.

The City Council will eventually vote on the three bills, which need two thirds of the votes to pass.

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