Florida Department of Transportation staff presented a multitude of concepts for improving the visual look of the core tourist area of Daytona Beach during an open house at the Ocean Center Nov. 10.
FDOT was seeking feedback on which street enhancements the public deemed viable and which they did not.
“We got all this feedback and then we'll look into the next steps of what we can do now,” explained FDOT Public Information Director Jessica Ottaviano.
The streets targeted for enhancements or upgrades are Atlantic Avenue (State Road A1A), East International Speedway Boulevard (U.S. 92), Main Street, Oakridge Boulevard (State Road 430) and Seabreeze Boulevard (State Road 430).
On display throughout the Ocean Center meeting room was a broad array of concepts designed to make the roadways more appealing, while considering safety and road capacity. Highlights include closing off left turn lanes to improve traffic flow, creating pedestrian/bike lanes, planting shade trees, installation of in-pavement lighting, upgrading signage and widening the sidewalks.
FDOT will analyze the public feedback, respond to each citizen who provided feedback and use it as a guide to continue working with a coalition of groups representing cities, businesses and citizens. They hope to have project documentation finalized by the end of the year.
Construction is already underway on Oakridge Boulevard between Halifax Avenue and State Road A1A. FDOT is creating a green bike lane, installing a Zicla Zipper system (protects the bike lane from cars) and enhancing the landscaping with completion estimated in February.
Oakridge is considered a high crash area. To alleviate this, FDOT’s YouTube channel mentions the intersection of Oakridge Boulevard and State Road A1A might be fitted with a raised intersection to slow traffic as well as enhancing the lighting at the crosswalk. Further, widening the sidewalk between Oakridge Boulevard and Seabreeze Boulevard on both sides of A1A is proposed.
Soon there will be a resurfacing, restoration and rehabilitation project on State Road A1A between East International Speedway Boulevard and Seabreeze Boulevard.
There is no schedule as to when the other possible road improvements would occur.
“I'd have to check and see where we're at for moving forward on the next steps,” Ms. Ottaviano said.
She noted the objective of the meeting was to “achieve a full vision” for road improvements suggesting that improvements can be rolled into a bigger or existing project as opposed to being a project unto itself.
The reasoning behind a full vision approach, also referred to as a shared vision, is to avoid problems that have arisen in the past, such as a lack of road continuity. For instance, a bike lane that is on one street and not on a connecting street.
Ms. Ottaviano offered FDOT wants to, “Create a whole network for all road users.” That is where the coalition of local partners can help.
“The department is working closely with partners so that we can achieve a community vision and let the community know that we're always working towards, listening, and getting those aspects that everyone wants, in,” Ms. Ottavino said. “And this is why these meetings are so important for people to attend and we value that feedback.”
This was the second of two scheduled meetings. The first was in July. The coalition of groups FDOT is in consultation with was formed earlier this year. They are, Beachside Neighborhood Watch, Boardwalk at Daytona Development, the City of Daytona Beach, Daytona Regional Chamber, the City of Holly Hill, the Lodging & Hospitality Association of Volusia County, the Plaza Resort, Sons of the Beach, the River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization, Volusia County and Votran.
The FDOT documents, videos and virtual reality about the proposed upgrades and current construction are at tinyurl.com/ebnpb5h5/.
For more information, contact Steven Buck, project manager, at (386) 943-5171 or email@example.com.