Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Plainfield Residents Have a Gripe They Say Their Street Is Shortcut

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Plainfield Residents Have a Gripe They Say Their Street Is Shortcut

Article excerpt

Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer

Plainfield Avenue is a charming residential street, lined with trees shading some of the oldest homes in Orange Park. But there's something about the road that has homeowners upset.

The two-lane road has become increasingly popular with motorists who choose Plainfield over the more densely packed six-lane Park Avenue (U.S. 17) between Kingsley Avenue and Wells Road.

So popular, residents told the Orange Park Town Council Tuesday night, that the cut-through traffic on Plainfield has become a noisy nuisance and a potential hazard to children and pedestrians in the neighborhood.

"It's deteriorated our neighborhood," said Ben Dinkins.

Dinkins, an Orange Park native who lives on Hurley Street just off Plainfield Avenue, said the constant coming and going of cars, trucks and motorcycles through the neighborhood has driven families indoors.

"You don't see people outside [their homes] anymore," he said. "People go to work, they come home and go inside and close their doors. It's unsafe for children . . . for pets . . . for people."

A plan by the town to add a right-turn-only lane for southbound vehicles on Plainfield turning westerly onto Kingsley Avenue, Dinkins and other residents said, would be like throwing fuel onto an open flame.

"A continuous right turn onto Kingsley Avenue will only make the traffic problem worse," Dinkins said.

Town Manager John Bowles said the proposed right-turn lane is designed to improve traffic safety at the intersection and improve the flow of traffic by providing a stacking lane for turning vehicles so they don't block traffic continuing through the intersection.

The town manager's explanation didn't hold much weight, however, with residents fed up with what they perceive as an unwarranted intrusion in their neighborhood by people just passing through.

"It's inevitable that Plainfield is going to be a shortcut, but don't make it easier for them," said Roger Bowers of 1534 Plainfield Ave. He suggested reducing the speed limit, which currently is 25 mph, and not adding the right-turn-only lane.

"Let the cars back up," Powers said. …

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