JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This week is providing more evidence of what pedestrians and bicyclists in Jacksonville know too well: this city can be very dangerous to those sharing the highway with motor vehicles.
- Sunday morning: 32-year-old Joshua Tomlinson, walking along U.S. 90, struck and killed by a Ford F-150 that failed to stop.
- Tuesday: The FHP investigated the death of a man found along U.S. 301 north of Maxville, who investigators believe was hit by a vehicle.
- Early Wednesday morning: 37-year-old Joeann Lawrence, struck and killed while riding her bicycle to work on 103rd Street.
- Later Wednesday morning: An unnamed 68-year-old man struck and killed when crossing Interstate 95 near Kings Avenue.
- Wednesday evening: A 16-year-old boy was struck by a car on Third Street in Jacksonville Beach. The teenager was taken to Memorial Hospital with a head injury. His name and condition were not released.
- Thursday morning: A pedestrian was struck by a car on West Beaver Street at Watershed Road. The pedestrian was not seriously injured.
- Thursday evening: A 32-year-old man was hit by a van on Philips Highway near the Baymeadows Road intersection while attempting to cross the road. He was taken to Memorial Hospital with critical injuries.
The most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate Jacksonville is the second-deadliest metropolitan area in the United States over the past decade. Florida is the deadliest state in America, according to the NHTSA data.
Ruth Gordon, who lives in Arlington, walks or relies on the bus to get around and sees the danger around her.
"It's hard to get across Atlantic Boulevard," Gordon said.
A year ago, the city of Jacksonville made pedestrian and bicycle safety an issue, hiring a pedestrian and bicycle coordinator to help make the city's streets safer. On Wednesday, News4Jax asked for an interview and information what the city was doing. On Thursday, the mayor's office replied to questions, saying many recommended safety improvements have been or are being made. In the budget year that just began, the city is scheduled to spend $600,000 on new crossing lights, $1.1 million on pedestrian improvements and $2 million on new sidewalks. (See full list of projects, spending at end of this article.)
"(We're) working on pedestrian safety -- crosswalks sidewalks and the things that we need," Mayor Lenny Curry said. "The infrastructure is been neglected for decades. My budget speaks to making those things right. (It's) something we take seriously and we're going to invest in safety."
The city has also launched an All in Duval public awareness campaign to educate citizens to do their part in making the roads safer.
Driving around Jacksonville Thursday, we saw some pedestrians ignoring crosswalks and signals, not paying attention and darting into traffic.
The sheriff said officers are enforcing jaywalking laws in all neighborhoods.
City-provided list of pedestrian-related safety capital improvement projects in 2018-19 budget:
$2 million for sidewalk repair
$500,000 for new sidewalks
$26.5 million Hart Bridge ramp removal includes major pedestrian/bike improvements/infrastructure
$12.5 million of bridge work for the McCoy’s Creek Greenway
$630,000 for pedestrian countdown signals at intersections
$2.2 million for the Park Street road diet
$6 million for the Soutel Drive road diet
$5.2 million for the Edgewood Avenue road diet
$1.1 million for pedestrian improvements at six high crash locations where a city road meets a state road