Bike lanes going green in San Marco for pilot program

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A stretch of bike lane in San Marco is now highlighted in green as part of a pilot program to improve bicycle safety in the River City.

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The 2/3-mile stretch of St. Augustine Road from Phillips Highway to Inwood Terrace costs about $120,000 to paint green.

A representative with the city said it would extend down to Emerson Street after a resurfacing project expected to be complete within the next year.

Councilmember LeAnna Cumber pushed for the pilot project in Jacksonville over the past year.

“Every major city does it from New York to Washington D.C. to Miami. They’re really all over,” Cumber told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant. “We have so many bicyclists in the city — whether you’re biking for recreation, to get to and from school, or your job and they deserve to be safe.”

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Jacksonville is consistently ranked among the most dangerous pedestrian cities in the country.

A ‘Smart Growth America’ study put Jacksonville at number 10 and ranks Florida as the most dangerous state for pedestrians across the nation.

“We have everything so spread out. We really have grown and built for cars and get people from point A to B as quickly as possible. The bike lanes are kind of an afterthought,” Cumber said.

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A Florida Department of Transportation study conducted in 2008 in St. Petersburg found a “significantly higher percentage of motorists yielded to bicycles,” and, “significantly higher percentage of bicycle riders scanned for proximate vehicles” with a green bike lane.

“It gives both the driver and rider space awareness and it really does bring a lot of visibility and attention,” Scott Gross, the owner of Open Road Bicycles, said. “It’s taken a long time for it get to Jacksonville but I think it will pay huge dividends.”

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 249 bicyclists were involved in injuries in Duval last year and six of them were fatal.

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