Residents simulate traffic jam to protest proposed Chick-fil-A in Oceanway

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Residents in the Oceanway area took to the streets over the weekend to stage a mock traffic study, simulating the potential congestion a proposed Chick-fil-A could bring to their neighborhood.


The proposed location sits directly across the street from First Coast High School, and residents have voiced concerns for over a year about increased traffic in an already congested area.

Robin Hood, a resident in the area who participated in the demonstration, highlighted the potential traffic problems the community could face if the Chick-fil-A were approved.

“Anyone that lives down Duval Station Road and tries to get through there, they’re going to have this problem. If they try to get to this proposed restaurant, they will be stuck in it,” Hood stated.

During the simulation, residents stopped drivers at a makeshift flag to mimic the delays they feared could occur at the proposed drive-through.

READ: Jacksonville City Council to address controversial Chick-Fil-A proposal

Hood explained that they had to cut the study short because the traffic backed up quickly.

“Because it didn’t take anything but 15 minutes to see how this was going to go, we were able to count the vehicles; How many were going to stack up,” Hood stated.

Roberta Smith, another concerned resident, stressed the purpose of the demonstration, saying, “One car actually laid on his horn and flipped us off because we were holding up traffic. We weren’t holding up traffic, but that new restaurant would hold up traffic.”

The proposed Chick-fil-A has been a contentious issue in the neighborhood, with residents expressing worries about increased traffic and its impact on the area’s safety and quality of life.

The demonstration was a grassroots effort to draw attention to these concerns ahead of an upcoming rezoning meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

City Councilman Reggie Gaffney Junior, who represents the district where the proposed Chick-fil-A would be located, previously formed a committee of neighbors to meet with Chick-fil-A representatives. Despite attempts to reach out for comment, Councilman Gaffney did not respond.

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