A new bill filed by a state representative aims to make Jacksonville a safer place to walk by installing almost 2,000 new crosswalk signs throughout the city.
State Rep. Clay Yarborough is asking for $631,000 in state funds to install signs at almost 300 intersections in Jacksonville.
Action News Jax got a list of the intersections. One of them is on Beach Boulevard near the South Campus of Florida State College at Jacksonville.
Right now, the sign at the crosswalk tells pedestrians to walk or don’t walk.
The problem is that once it starts flashing, pedestrians don’t really know how much time they have to get across the street.
Driver Tabetha Lowe said she sees people get stuck trying to cross intersections all the time.
“And they’ll just jaywalk,” Lowe said.
She said she thinks installing the new crosswalk signs is a good idea.
“Honestly, I think it’s a great idea, because personally I get really nervous about crossing the streets," she said. “It’s nice to know how much time you have left if you should actually try and cross the street or not.”
According to the city of Jacksonville, more than 80 percent of the bicycle and pedestrian crashes in Duval County happen on state roads.
“I think there is state responsibility,” Yarborough said. “Because these are state roads that a lot of these accidents have happened on, whether it be San Jose Boulevard or the expressway or somewhere else.”
According to the city, the Federal Highway Administration said replacing existing walk/don’t walk signals with countdown signal heads will help reduce pedestrian crashes by 25 percent.
Yarborough said the new signals could help both walkers and drivers.
“Being able to see those blinking hands and countdown as you approach an intersection kind of gives you an idea of when the light's about to turn yellow,” he said.
In recent years, Action News Jax has reported on numerous crashes involving pedestrians that didn’t happen at intersections.
While some have argued more crosswalks are needed, people seem to agree the new countdown lights will help.
“I think it will help but there’s always going to be the few people who decide to be rebels,“ Lowe said.
Several other drivers told Action News Jax they think the new countdown signals are a good idea.
The state money wouldn't cover maintenance costs for the signals. Those would be the responsibility of the city.
Yarborough said the costs would likely be similar to maintenance costs for the current walk/don't walk signals.
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