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Councilman proposes 'game-changing' plan to help downtown

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Updated: 12/11/2013 8:09 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Turning one-way streets into two-way streets downtown is something one city leader said may be the key to jump-starting downtown redevelopment.

City Councilman Bill Bishop said 2014 could be a game changer in terms of taking the city skyline to the next level. But he said it's key to capitalize on it now.

"It's a little different," said Megan Kelberman about the city center.

She had a bit of a culture shock moving to Jacksonville from Orlando. She works downtown and said she can't believe how little there is going on there.

"There's tons of young professionals, yo-pros, here in Jacksonville. There's tons of them. When you walk out for lunch like I'm doing right now, hour do you see any of them? No. Because there's not too many places to eat lunch," she said.

Bishop said the face of the city is changing. Young professionals want downtown development. He said it begins with making downtown more walkable and said the solution is simple.

"We need to get rid of our one-way streets, put them back to two-way streets. We need to fix the sidewalks, get stuff out of the way, make them easier to walk," he said.

But Action News found that idea is getting mixed reviews.

"I don't think that would be a good idea," Ralph Wilson said. "With the traffic I think there would be more traffic problems that way."

Kelberman thinks its a great place to start.

"I think it's not a bad idea. I think you want to be careful of the backfire of construction and other things," said Kelberman.

Bishop said it's an inexpensive way to take a first step in rejuvenating a downtown in waiting.

"If you want to change one-way streets back to two-way streets you're talking about a lot of paint and turning the signs around. It's really not much more complicated than that," Bishop said.

Parking is another big hurdle to tackle. Folks like Kelberman say they'd spend a lot more time here if there were more places to park for the day as they walk around.

Bishop also said bike lanes should be added downtown and then find a way to connect bordering communities like Riverside and San Marco to bring more people downtown.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

1country - 12/12/2013 11:54 AM
0 Votes
Mr.Bishop,making some of them one-way was suppose to jump-start this cow town!Face it, it is and always will be the way it is-small town.Would you please start looking for ways to save money,not spend it !!! Alot of us like it just the way it is sir!!

Fred Thompson - 12/12/2013 1:54 AM
0 Votes
When did YUPPIES become "YO_PROS?
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