While those of us that are lucky enough to live within the Urban Core consisting of Downtown, Riverside, Springfield and San Marco on the south side of the River get to enjoy the functionality of gridded streets with sidewalks. The vast majority of Jacksonville citizens live in a maze of cul-de-sac communities that for the most part have no type of pedestrian infrastructure. Those cul-de-sac communities often only have one or two ways into and out of them off major roads which usually have even less pedestrian infrastructure.
Next time you find yourself traveling down Atlantic blvd. around Kernan Rd. Ask yourself how any of those people that live in the subdivisions on the north side of Atlantic get to shopping on the South side of the road with out the use of a car. Ask youself how this road was designed with 3/4 of mile long blocks without any type of consideration for a pedestrian to cross the road at any point along the way.
Intelligent well designed cities provide infrastructure for all citizens to be able move around on. Jacksonville is not one of those cities. The only people that find jacksonville appealing are the developers that are giving free will (thanks to our city leaders) to design without the foresight or vision for any type of Complete Streets Program.
Pedestrian Fatality Data By County (Click To Enlarge)
Bicycle Fatality Data By County (Click To Enlarge)If you read the above data on bicycle fatalities for Duval county, you will see that in 2006 there were 7 deaths. While even one death is too many, I would like to show just how safe it is ride bike here in Jax with some pretty simple math.
According to the 2006 census Jacksonville had 1/10 of 1 percent of the population of 850,000 that commute by bike. That would mean about 850 daily riders. Those riders do 2 trips a day. One to work and one home. That is 1700 bike trips a day and 620,500 trips a year. And if you add in all the recreational riders into that daily and yearly total. Well, I don't have any way of calculating how many total trips by bike that would be. But I would have to say, the roads are not near as dangerous as people would have you believe from looking at those numbers.
Metro Jacksonville has just posted a great article on walkable Jacksonville.