Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Campaign 'Cares More' about Argyle's Traffic; the Jacksonville Area near Orange Park Has a High Accident Rate

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Campaign 'Cares More' about Argyle's Traffic; the Jacksonville Area near Orange Park Has a High Accident Rate

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan

The TV spot shows a woman making the hectic commute home on Blanding Boulevard at Interstate 295, tailgated by angry drivers who cut her off.

It ends with the woman distracted by her cellphone, not seeing her child in the driveway, then warns about the dangers of careless or aggressive driving.

The two-week public service campaign that began Monday is part of the Care More Argyle campaign, born from a nine-month study of the heavy traffic and high accident rate in the Westside Jacksonville area near Clay County.

Created by the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization, it hopes to get drivers to care more about how they drive and reduce the number of crashes to less than 40 per month.

The campaign is overdue, said Argyle Area Civic Council President Bill Lewis, who worked with the planning organization on the study. In his 12 years of driving these roads, he's been rear-ended and spun at Argyle Forest Boulevard and Cheswick Oak Avenue, and his wife was hit at Argyle and Shindler Drive.

"I hope people would start paying attention to those driving next to them," Lewis said. "There have been some crazy accidents."

Along with TV and radio messages, information at the Argyle branch library has more on the study and campaign, as does www.caremoreargyle.com.

"By doing nothing, we know there can't be an awareness," planning organization spokeswoman Marci Larson said. "There are people who live or travel in that area who didn't know what the crash statistics were, and this creates an awareness. At least this educates people to drive a bit more carefully when they are in the area."

The independent transportation planning organization covers Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties. In response to concerns about traffic in an area that includes Blanding Boulevard at I-295, its intersection with Argyle Forest Boulevard and many surrounding roads, it studied nine months of accident and traffic rates late last year. …

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