The City of Jacksonville never fails to leave me wondering, "what the hell were they thinking?" Once again I ended up walking around muttering the above mentioned phrase to myself as I checked out the new roundabout that makes up the first phase of the Laura Street Improvements Plan.
The Roundabout's purpose is to slow down traffic while also keeping it flowing, but also providing a safer more friendly environment for pedestrians. But I don't think there is a single functioning brain within the COJ Planing Dept.
I think the COJ Planing Dept draw things up and go, "ohh that's pretty." There is no way that they stop and think about their designs usability for all users. The new roundabout is ringed with "cobblestones" for the road surface Which makes it almost unridable for cyclists in the best of conditions. The bricks being used for this road surface while called cobblestones are anything but. The picture above does not come close to showing just how bad the surface of this road is. Each individual brick contains a very sharp peak and valley and combined with each of surrounding brinks make a surface that will not allow a bicycle to stay in contact with that surface. In wet conditions, every two wheeled mode of transport that hits that very unstable surface at any speed is in serious risk of injury or worse. The funny thing is how bristled up the city leaders got when Jacksonville was awarded with top 3 worst cycling cities recently by Bicycling Magazine. Yet they continue do to thing like this and just keep adding on to a very long list of examples as to why.