Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clay Considers Transportation Plan; Jacksonville Agency Is Offering to Assist in Creating Regional Road, Transit Projects

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clay Considers Transportation Plan; Jacksonville Agency Is Offering to Assist in Creating Regional Road, Transit Projects

Article excerpt

Byline: BETH REESE CRAVEY

In an effort to create a regional model, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority will formally offer its planning and grant-writing expertise to Clay County.

The county transportation plan that ultimately results would become part of a regional transportation master plan, with Jacksonville and neighboring counties cooperatively designing new road and transit projects and jointly seeking state and federal funding for them, said Michael Blaylock, executive director of the JTA.

Rapid growth in Northeast Florida -- and examples of other metropolitan areas, such as Atlanta and surrounding counties, that did not work together and suffered from massive traffic congestion as a result -- got the JTA thinking ahead, he said.

"We are concerned about the entire region. How are we going to be able to keep mobile?" he said. "What can we do to help facilitate the visioning process for these counties ? What do they want to be when they grow up?"

Blaylock told the County Commission's Transportation Committee about the JTA's plan last week. He likely will make a similar presentation to the full board when the proposal is ready to submit.

The proposal will call for Clay to determine its own transportation vision, with help from JTA planners and engineers. Also, the JTA will ensure implementation of the county's plan through an agreement between the agency and the county, Blaylock said.

"County commissions change, someone has to be keeper of the gate," he said. "Our part in the process is as a facilitator . . . in getting things done."

Public transportation has to be part of the plan, he said. The northern Orange Park area, from the Orange Park Mall to Kingsley Avenue, is currently part of the JTA's bus system, but other kinds of transit will be needed for the future.

The JTA would help Clay study its future transportation options, from water transit along the St. Johns River to rail and expanded bus service.

"We are not going to get it all done with buses. Not everybody is going to get out of their cars . . . Some will never give up their cars," he said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.