ORANGE PARK Fla.-- The plan is to expand Blanding Boulevard, but at what cost to local business?
Middleburg Martial Arts owner Jan Lappin says proposed improvements to the break-light-filled drive home on Blanding has her seeing red.
"I don't like the way it's scheduled right now although I'm hoping they'll change it," she said.
The DOT plans to close multiple medians along the busy roadway, including one right in front of her business. Lappin says sealing up the median will make it tougher for her customers to get through.
"My students and parents are going to have to drive another mile down the road, turn around and come back and sometimes first thing in the morning that can be a bit irritating," she said. "Especially if they're running late or they're on their way to work or there's a lot of traffic."
On Monday night, Lappin and other Blanding business owners drove their message home to the DOT, and to see if they could come up with an alternative.
The DOT says closing more than 10 Middleburg medians is the safe thing to do. It plans to add two lanes to that section of the roadway. Before that happens, the agency says it needs to hear from the very people who use those pass-throughs.
The first stages of the project won't begin until 2015, so the DOT says it hopes to work together with business owners to come up with something everyone can agree on.
"I think that they're will in to work with us at least that's what I'm hearing."
The DOT will continue to take public comment until August 15th.
You can mail your comments to:
1109 South Marion Avenue
Mail Station 2021
Lake City, FL 32025