JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Beach Boulevard is easily one of Jacksonville’s busiest roads, but a study from a personal injury law firm suggests that it’s also one of the city’s deadliest roads.
The latest death came Monday night when a pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle near where Beach meets DeSalvo Road, within a 2.3-mile stretch of the road that’s gaining a deadly reputation.
According to figures provided by the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization, 66 people were injured or killed while walking or biking along Beach between Southside Boulevard and Interstate 295.
None of this is news to Mohammed Sharhan, who walks down Beach Boulevard a few times a week. Just in the past three years, he’s noticed the area isn’t the safest place to get around on foot.
In his experience, Sharhan said, passing drivers don’t seem to care or even notice when a pedestrian or cyclist has the right of way. He said they’re more focused on getting where they’re going.
“I’ve even seen pictures on the side of the roads with kids on them with flowers,” Sharhan told News4Jax. “And it’s disheartening.”
He’s not alone.
A woman who asked to remain anonymous said she doesn’t feel safe walking along the busy road, either. She added that she takes the bus every day just to avoid crossing the street.
“I always look behind me because I just don’t trust when I go to cross the road,” she said. “That’s why I stopped crossing the road up at Beach Boulevard because it’s just too dangerous.”
In fact, a study released by Stein Law, a Florida-based firm that specializes in personal injury cases, found that 16 people were killed in 15 crashes along Beach from 2013 to 2015.
But some traffic upgrades made to the area could help change that.
The Department of Transportation is working on a $3.8 million project would add upgraded traffic signals, roadway lighting, sidewalk repairs and new signage between Cortez and Parental Home roads.
That project is scheduled to wrap up early next year.