San Marco congestion irks residents

Drivers cutting through neighborhoods to avoid backup

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - If you live in or travel through San Marco, you've probably noticed major congestion during peak travel hours.

San Marco residents are frustrated because commuters are driving through neighborhoods at high speed instead of sticking out the traffic delays on Hendricks Avenue at Atlantic Boulevard.

"They go 40 and 50. They go really fast sometimes," said Katie Eliopulos, who lives in San Marco. The residential speed limit is 30 mph.

But why the recent congestion? The ongoing construction project in San Marco Square is making people reroute to Hendricks Avenue. And it's expected to last through the summer.

"And then they cut down to below and go on down below, but just bumper to bumper," San Marco resident Jim Pearce said. "But if you get in a situation like this, they want to cut around."

People walk their dogs, jog for fitness, children are out playing, but drivers ignore the speed limit and zoom through with disregard to their speed and the people who live in the neighborhood. Residents want drivers to stop cutting through their neighborhood. The biggest fear, they say, is the safety of children.

"It's scary. I don't want them -- I mean, we only play in the backyard where it is fenced in," Eliopulos said. "I don't want them out here at all. It's too dangerous."

Because congestion is a problem on Hendricks Avenue, drivers should leave home five minutes earlier than normal. Although residents don't want drivers traveling through their streets, if you have to, drive the speed limit and look out for neighbors.

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