JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) initiative that began last year has grown to more than 70 Jacksonville intersections.
FDOT began wrapping traffic control boxes with reminders to pedestrians in May 2016 with 10 boxes. An FDOT representative told First Coast News several have been added throughout Jacksonville in the past few months.
The wrapped boxes contain messages like “Push, wait, walk,” “No regrets when you cross with care” and “If only I’d been looking out for cars.”
Jacksonville resident Scott Oliver bikes through the intersection at Beach and Southside Boulevards frequently.
“I feel like almost the whole time it’s a close call,” Oliver said.
He appreciated the wrapped box at that location and hoped it encouraged others to walk and bike safely.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, 43 pedestrians and four bicyclists were killed in crashes citywide in 2015.
In 2016, the Beach and Southside Boulevard intersection had 88 total crashes, not just involving pedestrians. That was the fourth-highest number in the city, according to JSO.
At that intersection, bicyclists and pedestrians have to cross four sections of crosswalk in order to get all the way across Southside Boulevard. Only two of those sections have pedestrian signals, while the other two are only protected by yield signs.
“When I’m starting to get to the other side of the street, I have to make sure that nobody’s coming down that right hand lane to make a right hand turn because they’re gonna come right through that crosswalk,” Oliver said.
Oliver said it goes both ways. Drivers also need to look out for pedestrians.
“A lot of the drivers, of course as we all know, are on their handheld devices while they’re driving so they’re not really trying to pay a whole lot of attention to pedestrians,” he said.