Complete Streets Arlington Expressway Mobility Workshop

JTAMobilityWorks - Complete Streets
Arlington Expressway Mobility Workshop
The Arlington Expressway Complete Streets design workshop was conducted on October 21, 2015, at
Impact Church. 15 individuals from the public were in attendance.
The Mobility Corridors program is intended to target safety, mobility and accessibility improvements
within ¼ mile of our highest frequency transit corridors through a comprehensive planning and design
process. The Program will be implemented in a concurrent two-phased approach: The first, “Transit
Enhancements” process will immediately accelerate bus stop improvements and ADA compliance
throughout the corridors, while the “Complete Streets” initiative will execute long-term planning and
design, to identify context-sensitive and transit-supportive enhancements including, but not limited to:
pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, lighting/landscaping, crosswalks/signalization improvements and
traffic calming/”road dieting” solutions. It also serves to “optimize” JTA’s Route Optimization
Initiative/First Coast Flyer BRT with key “first and last mile” improvements.
Arlington Expressway from the Mathews Bridge to the Regency Mall is corridor of key importance as it
include some of JTA’s high frequency transit routes, with moderately high ridership. Furthermore, the
expressway is a significant roadway on the system that has significant issues with pedestrian
accommodations and with pedestrian safety. Pedestrians have been observed crossing the expressway
in locations where the adjacent frontage roads are at the same elevation.
The solutions for the Arlington Expressway will involve a comprehensive strategy that includes shortand long-term solutions addressing pedestrian safety and vehicular movement, while promoting the
redevelopment of blighted blocks with new investment. Immediate short-term solutions should be
focused on immediate pedestrian safety, such as crosswalks, sidewalks and lighting (where they are
missing), and branding of adjacent neighborhoods with district identification gateway signage that could
say “Welcome to Arlington.” While immediate safety issues are being addressed, a long-term strategy
for the redevelopment of Arlington Expressway and its adjacent neighborhoods should be envisaged
that includes a financing plan and vision to make right-of-way infrastructure improvements that ensures
safe pedestrian movement across the expressway with possible bridge enhancements and/or new
bridge structures “lids” (with widen sidewalks, trees, landscaping and lighting) and roadway
improvements to the expressway that would implement an enhanced bus rapid transit system (BRT)
system that would improve the overall regional transit service and connectivity.
A planning workshop was held October 21. 2015 from 4-7pm at Impact Church.
The workshop format included five main stations that allowed for people to arrive whenever
convenient. The stations were as follows:
o Station 1: Project Introduction/Overview. This was an introductory presentation that
provided an overview of the JTAMobilityWorks program, an overview of what Complete
Streets are and background material on the Arlington Expressway
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JTAMobilityWorks - Complete Streets
Arlington Expressway Mobility Workshop
Station 2: Arlington Vision. This station was an interactive station where people could
provide input on what they like and don’t like about the corridor. Aerials were provided
for people to identify specific issues, especially how they currently cross the expressway.
Station 3: Design A – Arlington Expressway Gateway “West”. This station included
hands-on design tables for participants to explore specific design ideas and
improvements, and the opportunity to work alongside the urban design team. Station 3
includes two key focus areas. The first is the recessed Arlington Expressway and
University Blvd/ N Arlington Road off ramps. The second focus area is Arlington
Expressway at/near grade. To facilitate discussion, sections of the expressway were
provided that showed a range of options to improve pedestrian connectivity across the
expressway. Options included renovated bridge structures with widened sidewalk area,
“lids” which are bridge structures with additional landscape park-like areas,
improvements to the service streets, and the integration of BRT along the expressway,
with stations located at the bridge structures to provide access to the BRT system along
the expressway. Gateway and branding ideas were also discussed to define a sense of
community. Photo boards with examples of redeveloping the areas around expressways
were also provided to stimulate discussion on how to promote pedestrian connectivity
and bring back private investment.
Station 4: Design B – Arlington Expressway Gateway “East”. The second design station
included hands-on design tables for participants to explore specific design ideas and
improvements, and the opportunity to work alongside the urban design team. The
design for Station 4 focused of Regency Mall and Southside/Arlington Expressway
Intersection and Off-Ramp Redevelopment. University Blvd/ N Arlington Road off ramps.
The second focus area was Arlington Expressway at/near grade.
Station 5: Dialogue This station was a place for continued discussions, including
reference materials provided as a new framework for “rethinking” and redesigning
urban street networks and corridors.
Visioning (post it note exercise)
Car lot directly behind house
Concern with Arlington Expressway to Boulevard and the ease of crime moving
across this route
Concern with crime
Hot spot for wrecks – are under Casey Blvd.
ADA Access @ Mall and @ Goodyear, Corner of Atlantic & Monument
Crime & Lighting
Blighted blocks with high vacancy
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JTAMobilityWorks - Complete Streets
Arlington Expressway Mobility Workshop
Lone star should be open to Southside connector
Median planting along Monument & Atlantic
Branding of Arlington with gateway identification signage that could say
“Arlington” on a bridge structure
Consider shuttle in the interim to facilitate the crossing of Arlington Expressway
1 – way on access roads – DO NOT LIKE
River Access
Bridge at Matthews Signage
Near Term Designs
o FDOT has a sidewalk project planned for the Frontage Roads on the Northside
o JTA will be adding and replacing bus shoulders
Long term visions “West” (station 3)
o The Expressway portion between the Southside connector and the Matthews Bridge
contains few cross streets which limits north-south pedestrian and vehicular
connectivity between the neighborhoods, endangering pedestrian safety and resulting
in blighted street blocks with high vacancy adjacent to the service streets. Solutions to
these problems require reconstruction ranging from bringing the expressway at- grade,
retrofitting the existing bridges to allow for safe pedestrian movement and/or
constructing “lids” over the freeway, which are bridge structures that incorporate
landscaping, trees, lighting and sidewalks. It was noted that the “lid” option, which has
been constructed in many cities, would require additional analysis and a long-term
financing plan for implementation. The design team showcased a range of these
possibilities through examples from other cities as well as through renderings, street
sections and photographs.
Long term visions East (Station 4)
o Regency Mall site. The highest-auto speed at Southside Boulevard/Highway 113 flyover
interchange transitions to a complete stop just pass the bridge and Arlington ceases to
be grade separated in front of the Mall. Therefore, we proposed making the transition
further east, at Mill Creek Road and reconnecting those older neighborhoods.
This traffic management plan slows the traffic leading into the Mall area, which is dying,
and allows for a new series of ‘Main Street’ blocks fronting onto Arlington Boulevard.
These three (3) blocks would enable a mixed-use, walkable urban pattern to develop
and conform to 21st century retail and housing formats. Three blocks are walkable, and
transit-served by maintaining the existing bus station along the Main Street. The
thoroughfare standards (such as lane widths, turning radii, medians, lighting, and
signage) and land use development standards (such as setbacks, heights, building
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JTAMobilityWorks - Complete Streets
Arlington Expressway Mobility Workshop
frontages, encroachments, and signage) to meet mixed-use, walkable urbanism
A ceremonial ‘gateway’ sign was proposed by local stakeholders just east of the
Southside Expressway Bridge, with colorful lighting the underside of bridge that is a true
‘gateway portal.’ The signage slogan was, “Enjoy Our Arlington!” The Expressway should
be renamed along this segment from the Expressway overpass to Monument Road.
Southside/Arlington Expressway Intersection and Off-Ramp Redevelopment.
The conversation focused on making an intersection at Mill Creek Road to more
completely access the older neighborhoods to the north and south, and still allow free
flow access to the Expressway. This would make a currently confusing, high-speed
interchange into a more rational intersection allowing for pedestrian, bikes and car
crossing and access.
University Blvd/ N Arlington Road off ramps. This area was discussed least by local
stakeholders and was not seen as the priority. Safe bicycle facilities and transit station
access should serve this intersection, but because this intersection is grade separated
most did not believe this area could be effectively modified over the next 10 – 20 years.
Next steps will be coordination with FDOT, COJ and other agencies, as well as additional data
collection and analysis and a final assessment of the design priorities and recommendation of
Key to our program success is to continue to foster partnerships and leverage resources
(City/FDOT/JTA/Grants) to implement these improvements, where prioritized.
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