Save Lives: Support Jacksonville’s 2030 Mobility Plan

A proposal will be submitted tonight to the Jacksonville City Council to waive the collection of “mobility fees” proposed in Jacksonville's 2030 Mobility Plan from developers who are building new construction, such as office buildings, apartments, shopping centers, etc.
Save Lives: Support Jacksonville’s 2030 Mobility Plan

Please tell your city council members ASAP that you support the collection of mobility fees!

Here are the Jacksonville City Council member email addresses:  Clay@coj.net; WBishop@coj.net; RClark@coj.net; Redman@coj.net; LBoyer@coj.net; MattS@coj.net; Gaffney@coj.net; EDLee@coj.net; WAJones@coj.net; RBrown@coj.net; Holt@coj.net; doylec@coj.net; Gulliford@coj.net; JimLove@coj.net; KimDaniels@coj.net; JRC@coj.net; Joost@coj.net; GAnderson@coj.net; RLumb@coj.net.

Mobility fees are assessments that provide for necessary transportation links required by new land development.  When new land is developed, the additional users must have the needed transportation facilities in order to safely use these properties, and to move around safely to other parts of our community. The collection of mobility fees from the developers of the new properties (as called for in the City’s adopted 2030 “Mobility Plan”, a transportation improvement plan) will improve the quality of life for all of Jacksonville’s residents and will also pave the way for safe alternative, clean forms of transportation, such as bicycling and walking for everyone.  Without mobility fees, the City of Jacksonville does not possess the funds to provide the alternative transportation facilities that it has deemed critically important for the community. Moreover, the waiver of mobility fees is not an impediment to building new land projects. In St. Johns County, mobility fees are assessed. In Clay County, they have been waived. Yet, St. Johns County has much higher rates of land development. The assessment of mobility fees has not prevented extensive growth.

The 2030 Mobility Plan calls for more than sixty (60) bicycle and/or pedestrian projects which will not be built without mobility fees. The Mobility Plan urges the following:

  • San Jose Boulevard - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Baymeadows Road and Old St. Augustine Road
  • Old St. Augustine Road - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Losco Road and San Jose Boulevard
  • San Jose Boulevard South - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Julington Creek Road and Halcyon Lane
  • Southside Boulevard - New Multi Use Path between Gate Parkway and Deerwood Park Parkway
  • UNF West - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between I-295 East Beltway and UNF East
  • UNF East - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between UNF West and Kernan Boulevard
  • Gate Parkway East - Multi Use Path between 10135 Gate Parkway and St. Johns Town Center Boulevard
  • Gate Parkway SE - Bicycle lanes between St Johns Town Center Boulevard and Deerwood Parkway
  • Southside/JEA ROW (under Bulter Boulevard) - Multi Use Path between Gate Parkway and Deerwood Park Parkway
  • Atlantic Boulevard/Monument Road - Bicycle lanes between Southside Boulevard and Regency Square Boulevard North
  • Heckscher Drive - Multi Use Path between Busch Boulevard and Drummond Point
  • Main Street - Multi Use Path between New Berlin Road and Trout River Bridge
  • Duval Road - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Airport Road and Airport Center Drive
  • Clark Road - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Main Street and Broward Road
  • Main Street - Multi Use Path between New Berlin Road and Trout River Bridge
  • Imeson Road - Multi Use Path or pavement markings and signage between Baldwin Rail Trail and Commonwealth Avenue
  • Commonwealth Avenue - Multi Use Path or bicycle lanes between Lane Avenue and Imeson Road
  • Firetower Road/103rd Street - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Old Middleburg Road East and Old Middleburg Road West
  • Riverside Avenue - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Forest Street and King Street.
  • St. Johns Avenue - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Woodmere Street and Talbot Avenue
  • San Juan Avenue - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Blanding Boulevard and Herschel Street
  • Blanding Boulevard - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Appleton and Blackburn
  • Blanding Boulevard - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Harlow and Wilson Road
  • Edgewood Avenue - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between St. Johns Avenue and Post Street
  • Normandy Boulevard - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Post Street and Lane Avenue
  • Old Middleburg Road - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Lenox Avenue and Herlong Road
  • Cassat Avenue - Convert paved shoulders to bicycle lanes between Edgewood Avenue and Blanding Boulevard
  • Roosevelt Boulevard/Commuter Rail Southwest Corridor - New Multi Use Path between Forest Street and Clay County Line
  • Southpoint Parkway - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Bowden Road and Belford Road
  • Bowden Road - Bicycle lanes  between Spring Park Road (Philips) and Southpoint Parkway
  • Atlantic Boulevard - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Beach Boulevard and Kings Road
  • Arlington Road - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between King Arthur Road and Lone Star Road
  • Lone Star Road - Bicycle lane between Mill Creek Road and Southside Connector
  • Arlington Road West - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between King Arthur Road and Cesery Road
  • University Boulevard North - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Gable Lane and University Boulevard
  • University Boulevard East - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Cesery Road and Atlantic Boulevard
  • Atlantic Boulevard - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Hart Bridge Expressway and University Boulevard
  • Atlantic Boulevard West - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Beach Boulevard and Hart Bridge Expressway
  • Bowden Road - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Spring Park Road and Philips Highway
  • Emerson Street - Convert paved shoulder to bicycle lanes between Hendricks Avenue and Philips Highway
  • Hendricks Avenue - Convert paved shoulder to bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between San Marco Boulevard and San Jose Boulevard
  • San Jose Boulevard - Convert paved shoulder to bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Hendricks Avenue and Baymeadows Road
  • Philips Highway/Commuter Rail Southeast Corridor - Multi Use Path between Southbank Riverwalk and Southside Boulevard
  • Laura Street - Pavement markings and signage between Bay and 8th Streets
  • Newnan/Hubbard Street - Pavement markings and signage between Bay and 8th Streets
  • Laura Street/12th Street - Pavement markings and signage between 8th Street and S-Line Urban Greenway
  • Kings Road - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between S-Line Urban Greenway and Martha Street
  • Dunn Avenue - Bicycle lanes between Biscayne Avenue and Main Street
  • Forest Street - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Edison Avenue and McCoys Creek Boulevard
  • McCoys Creek Boulevard - Multi Use Path or pavement markings and signage between Forest Street and Leland Street
  • McCoys Creek Boulevard - Multi Use Path or pavement markings and signage between Leland Street and McDuff Avenue
  • Hubbard Street - Pavement markings and signage between 8th and 14th Streets
  • Myrtle Avenue - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Forest Street and Kings Road
  • 5th Street - Multi Use Path or pavement markings and signage between Melson Avenue and Lane Avenue
  • Tallulah Avenue - Bicycle lanes or pavement markings and signage between 68th Street and Main Street
  • Commonwealth Avenue - Multi Use Path or bicycle lanes between Lane Avenue and Imeson Road
  • Jefferson/Forsyth/Boulevard/Broad Streets - Bicycle lanes along JTA BRT corridor between Water Street and Golfair Boulevard
  • Edgewood Avenue - Convert paved shoulders to bicycle lanes between New Kings Road and Cassat Avenue
  • Main Street/Commuter Rail North Corridor - Multi Use Path between Main Street and Main Street
  • Moncrief Road - Bicyle lanes or pavement markings and signage between Golfair Boulevard and 13th Street
  • Roosevelt Boulevard/Commuter Rail Southwest Corridor - New Multi Use Path between Forest Street and Clay County Line

Without these needed facilities, Jacksonville, Floirda is unquestionably one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. for our citizens to bicycle or walk.  We must take drastic and intentional steps to improve our dreadful conditions for non-motorized transportation. Meaningful improvements will save lives and injuries, and will promote bicycling and walking as healthier, safer, cheaper and more environmentally friendly forms of transportation and recreation. It would also be good for our economy.

Numerous studies confirm how perilous our roads are for pedestrians and cyclists. Jacksonville was deemed the 3rd most dangerous city in the entire United States for bicyclists and pedestrians by a 2011 study called “Dangerous By Design”, which indicted Jacksonville’s faulty road and infrastructure design, lack of adequate spending and enforcement of laws, lack of adequate policies and government staffing, and lack of programs supporting improved safety.

Our dangerous streets disproportionately affect our minorities. According to the “Dangerous by Design” study, Hispanics and African Americans, on average, drive less and walk more than other groups. Walking is a critical means of transportation for these groups – nearly 20 percent of African American households and 14 percent of Hispanic households live without a car. African Americans walk for 26 percent more trips than whites, and the Hispanic walking rate is close to 45 percent higher. While whites made 9.4 percent of trips on foot in 2009, African Americans made 11.9 percent of trips on foot, and Hispanics made nearly 14 percent of trips on foot. These groups also experience far more pedestrian injuries and fatalities.  The Florida Department of Transportation has taken this study very seriously. In recently held public forums, the FDOT has admitted to its failures as described in “Dangerous by Design”, and has asked for public help in improving these dangers statewide. But the FDOT is only responsible for state roads in Jacksonville - not the majority of our roads. The City of Jacksonville must make most of the improvements.

The Dangerous By Design study is not the only report which finds Jacksonville to be so dangerous and lacking in bicycling and pedestrian safety. The Alliance for Biking and Walking is a national coalition of bicycling and walking advocacy groups funded through the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The Alliance carefully researched bicycling and walking conditions in the largest 51 cities in the U.S. and produced a Bicycling and Walking Benchmark Report in 2010, and again in 2012  The results for Jacksonville were embarrassing and showed a critical problem.

In both the 2010 and 2012 studies:

  • Jacksonville was the worst city in the U.S. for pedestrian safety.
  • Jacksonville was the 5th worst city in the U.S. for bicycle safety.
  • Jacksonville was 48th of 51 cities in the number of people who walk to work.

In 2011, “Walk Score” completed a study published in The Wall Street Journal, which evaluated the walkability of the 50 largest cities in the United States. Each city was given a walkability score between 1 (worst) and 100 (best).  New York City scored 85.3. San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Oakland, and even Miami were in the top ten most walkable cities in the U.S. The lowest score of these top ten cities was 68.2.  What was the WORST city in the U.S. for walking? Jacksonville, Florida took the embarrassing honor with a score of only 32.6.

A walking and bicycling friendly city benefits everyone. Homes in walkable and rideable neighborhoods are more valuable. Bicycling and pedestrian safety actually increases greatly as participation rises. Walking and biking have awesome potential to improve public health.  With improved safety, the health benefits greatly outweigh the risk.  40% of all trips in the U.S. are shorter than 2 miles - one can easily walk 1 mile or bicycle 2 miles. The cost of these trips is substantially less than using vehicles.  The cost of facilities for walking and bicycling is much less than for vehicles.

Data from 1960 to 2009 shows that two things have occurred at the same time in the U.S. - bicycling and walking levels have decreased, while obesity levels have increased.  In Jacksonville, 61% of our citizens are considered overweight and 25% are obese.  As rates of bicycling and walking increase, rates of diabetes and obesity decrease.  We all know that it is recommended that we exercise for at least 30 minutes each day.  States and cities with higher levels of bicycling and walking have a higher percentage of residents who meet the 30 minute exercise standard.

Finally, walking and bicycling friendly communities benefit our economy. According to a 2010 study, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure spending creates 11-14 jobs per $1 million of spending, while vehicle infrastructure spending creates only 7 jobs per $1 million of spending.  It has also long been recognized that creating safe places to walk and bike attracts tourists.  Another study recently surveyed business owners to determine the impact of new bicycle facilities in their area.  65% of the business owners thought the new bike lanes had an overall positive impact on their sales and business.

Please vote against a second moratorium for mobility fees, which is just an attempt by developers to earn more unnecessary profit, through use and influence by their paid lobbyists. This issue should not be about payback for political funding or favors. Let’s work toward becoming a city where fewer bicyclists and walkers either die or are seriously injured, and where non-motorized transportation can be utilized without an unreasonable risk of injury.