Jacksonville Takes Huge Step to Improve Bicycling and Pedestrian Safety

The time may finally have come where Jacksonville adopts road design standards which provide safety and accessibility to cyclists and pedestrians!

I am very pleased to report that our Jacksonville Context Sensitive Streets Standards Committee has proposed significant, important, and profound changes to City of Jacksonville design standards for roadways. We voted and approved a proposed new City Ordinance, which will now be presented to the Jacksonville City Council for approval, as well as changes to the Land Development Procedures Manual.

Please let me share the significant and beneficial changes that have been approved by the committee and now await City Council vote:

Sidewalks on Both Sides

Sidewalks shall be required on both sides of each new, reconstructed or resurfaced roadway within the City of Jacksonville, no matter what the classification. The full width of the sidewalk may not be obstructed by trash cans, power poles, mailboxes, etc. – this is consistent with the standards approved in Raleigh, NC, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, and other cities.

Bicycle Facilities Required

Bicycle facilities shall be required on each new, reconstructed or resurfaced roadways within the City of Jacksonville, except for low volume, low speed neighborhood residential roads, where sharrows are recommended. Even if a road is considered neighborhood residential, if the posted speed is greater than 30 mph, it requires bicycle facilities. This is also consistent with other progressive cities’ standards.

Depending on the type of roadway, the following facilities are required:

Bicycle Facility by Design Classification

  • Thoroughfare - Buffered Bicycle Lanes
  • Boulevard - Buffered Bicycle Lanes
  • Avenue - Conventional Bicycle Lanes
  • Neighborhood Commercial - Conventional Bicycle Lanes
  • Neighborhood Residential - Shared Lane markings
  • Downtown Boulevard - Conventional Bicycle Lanes
  • Downtown Avenue - Conventional Bicycle Lanes

Bicycle Standards Approved

Bicycle Parking Standards Bicycle parking should be convenient to users, secure from theft, safe for bicyclists and other road users, intuitively designed, and accommodating to a variety of bicycle types.

The following standards describe location, design, placement, and installation of bicycle parking that will ensure these requirements are met consistently throughout the City of Jacksonville. These standards cover short-term parking solutions only; however the City also encourages long-term bicycle parking solutions in new office and housing developments in the form of lockers, shower facilities, and secure cages or bicycle rooms.

  • Location Bicycle parking should be located as close, or closer, to the entrance of the building it serves than the nearest car parking space. In general, multiple buildings should not be served by a large, distant bicycle parking area, but instead by smaller parking areas near active entrances. Locate bicycle parking within 50 feet of major destinations, transit stations, etc.
  • Bicycle parking areas should be well-lit and visible from the sidewalk so that users can find them, to deter theft, and to ensure bicyclists’ safety while locking/unlocking their bicycles.
  • A clear zone should be provided around the bicycle parking area to avoid moving vehicles, parked car doors, transit vehicle boarding areas, and pedestrian right-of-way, and allow for bicycle maneuverability between the parking area and any nearby landscaping, buildings, or street furniture. Bicycle parking should not impede pedestrian flow on the sidewalk and should not be placed directly in front of doors or disabled parking spaces.

Designated Truck Routes

A grid of designated truck routes was approved. Commercial trucks are required to use these roads that are more suitable for them to the greatest extent possible. The legislation would limit truck intrusion into sensitive areas to as minimal possible to enhance public safety, to minimize maintenance and reconstruction costs, and to provide safe roads for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.

I will let you know when Jacksonville City Council committees and then the whole council will consider these proposals. It will very important that you communicate with your council member about passing the changes.