Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jacksonville Beach OKs Vision Plan Proposals; the City Also Authorizes Spending $135,000 for a 30-Foot Tide Clock Tower

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jacksonville Beach OKs Vision Plan Proposals; the City Also Authorizes Spending $135,000 for a 30-Foot Tide Clock Tower

Article excerpt

Byline: CAREN BURMEISTER

JACKSONVILLE BEACH - The city has authorized pedestrian-friendly crossings, median safe harbors and landscaping on Florida A1A that citizens and urban planners recommended while coordinating the downtown vision plan.

The City Council agreed Monday to quickly solicit a streetscape design to coordinate the project with the Florida Department of Transportation, which plans to make $10 million worth of improvements on A1A next year.

The FDOT expects to advertise its bid in April and award the contract in June, said City Manager George Forbes.

The streetscaping proposal, which also includes landscaped medians, better defined on-street parking and slightly narrower travel lanes, was recommended as part of the Jacksonville Beach Downtown Vision Plan. It's expected to cost roughly $290,000.

The Orlando design firm of Glatting Jackson developed the Jacksonville Beach Downtown Vision Plan based on three days of public input sessions in June.

It's intended as a road map for public policy decisions and private redevelopment. Among other things, it includes recommendations for roundabouts to slow traffic on First Street North, drop-off circles near the beach and parking garages disguised with shops and offices along the street.

During the process, the urban designers stressed that downtown Jacksonville Beach needs to be friendly for pedestrians, bicyclists and families with children.

Beaches Watch Group President Sandy Golding said Monday that she was encouraged the city was already starting to implement the vision plan on A1A.

"I really look forward to seeing that happen here," Golding said.

Based on the city's request, the FDOT has also agreed to move a traffic light at Second Avenue North and Third Street down to Fourth Avenue North.

That street leads to the oceanfront fishing pier and is considered a key corridor to the downtown district. …

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