Jacksonville, FL (January 5, 2022) – Upon the request by Council Member Danny Becton, FDOT conducted a traffic study for the intersection of Baymeadows Road – Baymeadows Circle E – Princeton Square Blvd W in response to multiple left turn crashes, some of which have caused fatalities. This request was the culmination of efforts by several Baymeadows residents contacting Council Member Becton and making him aware of the situation and the need for a study and some type of change. Due to this citizen advocacy and their desire of wanting a better, safer solution for this seemingly dangerous intersection, Council Member Becton advocated to FDOT to initiate a Traffic Study on their behalf looking for those answers.
Back in October 2021, Council Member Becton received numerous complaints detailing the observations and experiences from constituents Sally Edwards and Monica Asbell that this intersection was having its share of accidents as a result of how the intersection operates.
Currently, the intersection operates as follows: For Baymeadows Rd going East or West, the signal allows for a left turn on a solid green arrow while thru traffic is held on Red. Upon the through traffic changing to a green light to proceed, the left turn lane stays green as well allowing for continued turns but now yielding against oncoming traffic. It is this functionality that accidents tend to occur as drivers now must anticipate oncoming traffic to turn left, and the rate of speed from oncoming cars typically above the posted limit. The solution requested was to have the turn arrow changed to provide for a solid red when oncoming traffic is given the green. The solution would prevent left turns once the oncoming lanes turned green.
CM Becton began the process by reaching out to FDOT’s District 2 Administrator, Jim Knight, and his team in addition to the City of Jacksonville’s Traffic Engineering Division to advocate for a solution. Both entities agreed based on crash data available that the concerns brought up warranted a Traffic Study to be conducted to examine the problem and what the proper solution would be.
In January of 2022, just two short months from the initial concern, Council Member Becton received FDOT’s Traffic Study analysis for the intersection from FDOT’s Traffic Engineer II, Wendy Elmore, P.E. which stated:
“Thank you for your request for improvements to the intersection of Baymeadows Rd with Princeton Sq Blvd/Baymeadows Cir E. Specifically, the request was for left-turn protected phasing (green arrow) on the eastbound and westbound Baymeadows approaches to the intersection. A subsequent request was received for left-turn phasing (green arrow) on the northbound Princeton Sq Blvd W approach and the southbound Baymeadows Cir E approach.
Traffic Operations reviewed the requests and recommends installing a 4-section flashing yellow arrow signal and LEFT TURN ON FLASHING YELLOW ARROW sign on eastbound Baymeadows Rd, installing a LEFT TURN ON GREEN sign on westbound Baymeadows Rd and maintaining the existing permissive only left-turn phasing on the northbound and southbound approaches.
I have attached the approved report which further outlines the recommendation. Due to size of the report and email server restrictions, Appendix B, Safety Assessment Report, will be emailed separately.”
As noted in the report, the Traffic Operations Safety Office evaluated the East-Bound (EB) – West-Bound (WB) left turn phasing of Baymeadows Rd and recommended a protected-only left turn phasing for EB Baymeadows Rd for certain times of day on weekdays. This will need to warrant further evaluation, with the study stating that the Left-Turn Time of Day analysis will be updated when the resurfacing project nears completion. As for the intersection of NB-SB Princeton Square Blvd W and Baymeadows Circle E, while the study did find a notable number of incidents over the past five years, the metrics did not meet the requirements to necessitate a change at this time. The list of improvements proposed is as follows:
On Eastbound Baymeadows Rd:
– Replace the 5-section signal with a 4-section signal centered over the left turn lane.
– Install a 30”x 36” LEFT TURN YIELD ON FLASHING YELLOW ARROW (FTP-85-13) sign right of the 4-section head.
– Install a 3-section signal centered over the left through lane.
– Relocate a 3-section signal to be centered over the right through lane.
– Move the “Princeton Square Blvd W” street sign closer to the mast arm pole.
– Install rigid backplates on the signal heads.
On Westbound Baymeadows Rd:
– Install a 30”x 36” LEFT TURN ON GREEN (R10-12) left of the existing 5-section signal.
– Move the “Baymeadows Cir E” street sign closer to the mast arm.
A full list of recommendations can be found in the study linked at the bottom of this article. As quoted from the study – “based on site conditions, crash analysis and field review, Traffic Operations recommends the improvements described above and retaining permissive only left turn only phasing on the NB and SB approaches to the Baymeadows Rd intersection with Princeton Sq Blvd W/Baymeadows Cir E.”
“Constituent involvement is very important to helping identify issues of safety and improvement within the district”, Council Member Becton stated. “In this specific situation, residents who witnessed the difficulty and concern for this specific issue, spoke up and reported it”, Council Member Becton noted. “I am grateful that we all could make a difference and save lives from future accidents”. Council Member Becton explained. “Also, to be appreciated is how quickly the Florida Dept of Transportation (FDOT) reacted. In receiving this request and to provide a Traffic Study analysis in less than two months is a testament to FDOT’s concern on safety and improvements within the Baymeadows Road area”. Council Member Becton concluded.
In a follow-up upon the request of Council Member Becton to FDOT to explain the process and path forward, Mrs Elmore added the following:
“The FDOT will provide the materials (signs, signals, backplates, etc.). Apparently, some of the required materials are on hand but the others have been ordered. The City of Jacksonville will construct the recommended changes to the signal mast arms. The plan is to have the modifications complete by early summer.”
Again, Council Member Becton acknowledges a huge “Thank You” to Ms. Edwards and Ms. Asbell for their concern and contact to our office about this issue. It is due to efforts of fellow citizens that issues can be reported and investigated so that changes can be found. The District 11 office is always available to investigate.
Council Member Becton’s office will continue to track this issue and request updates for this project until its completion.