Walk and Bike Task Force Draft Report Ready

Fernandina Beach Deputy City Manager/City Engineer Charlie George formed a citizens’ task force for safe walking and biking to help identify improvements in pedestrian and cyclist safety. After three public meetings over March, April, and May, the task force will hold a community meeting on Monday, June 12, from 4-6 p.m. at City Commission Chambers to review the draft task force final report.

Its safety improvement recommendations fall into three broad categories:

Road improvements:

Repair South Fletcher Avenue as quickly as possible.

Ask for a safety study as part of repaving and renovating Atlantic Avenue.

Ask the county to focus on Citrona Drive, as this is an important route to our schools.

Make crossing improvements on South Eighth Street at Clinch Drive and do a speed limit assessment.

Ask the state to add bike lanes or a trail on South Eighth Street from the AIP to the Shave Bridge.

Simple projects:

Encourage residents to use new TextMyGov app to report safety problems.

Promote cycling to the beach, and put weather-resistant bike racks at every beach access where possible. 

More complex projects: 

Beech Street (South Eighth to South 14th) Design Study: Ask the city to improve Beech Street from South Eighth to South 10th to maximize available parking, add landscaping to slow traffic and provide a trail for safe walking and biking.  

15th Street Connector from Amelia Park to Bosque Bello. This low intensity street provides a north-south connector from Amelia Park to Bosque Bello with a series of small improvements: signage, crosswalks, push to cross lights, and 600 ft. of paved path from Dade Street to Amelia Circle.  

Downtown Waterfront Trail from the sigh School to the Waterfront at Ash Street. At a community meeting in January 2020 the trail proposal was well received. The trail is under consideration for funding in the future.   

14th Street Trail: Support the county in an effort to put a trail on North 14th Street connecting Atlantic Avenue to the Dee Dee Bartels Boat Ramp. Old Town residents want a trail, and the truck drivers want the walkers and cyclists off the narrow road.

At the city commission’s regular meeting July 18, 2023, at 6:00 p.m at City Hall, the task force will present a final report

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Mark Tomes
Active Member
Mark Tomes(@mtomes)
3 months ago

These suggestions are a good start and focus on some of the more pressing problems that bicyclists and pedestrians encounter. Bike paths should be at the forefront of all decisions regarding road improvements.

3 months ago

Most of these ideas sound wonderful BUT costly. The thing that has not been addressed in what has been presented here is the cyclists that create a danger to pedestrians and vehicular traffic. We must be the only city on the east coast with “side rides” instead of sidewalks. From downtown in the historic district through the area along Egan’s Creek you have to fend for your life to avoid cyclists on the sidewalks. Surely there is a law or laws against this and they should be enforced. The groups of cyclists in their competition clothing and bright colored helmets that don’t understand traffic laws apply to them and stop signs mean STOP are a danger to all. The KISS principle is always a good starting point and the simple issues need to be solved before we attack these big projects.

Faith Ross
Active Member
Faith Ross(@faith-ross)
3 months ago

Agree that sidewalks need to be for walking, however, the City has totally ignored bike/multipurpose paths over the years. The cost has already been paid for sidewalks, we need to put the bike paths in place. Many in our City ride a bike to work, employee parking is a problem, and we have no more space for cars. Cars are a disaster for air quality. Biking is a healthy alternative. Would rather be hit by a bicycle than be hit by a car while on a bike (which is happening more often). And I don’t own a cycling outfit. The cars are just plain scary out there, there aren’t many safe alternatives.