Public Gives Feedback on
More than 200 people attended two public meetings last week, getting a first glimpse at the preliminary designs for the “New Dixie Highway” project.
One of the most noticeable changes of the project will be the reduced opportunities for left turns on Dixie Highway, because of safety medians situated along much of the 14-mile stretch of road. Some dedicated left turn lanes will also be added.
Many of the comments recognized the big change this will be for the “driving culture” of the area, where unrestricted left turns have long been the norm. These mid-block left turns are also a major cause of crashes and traffic congestion.
The proposed medians and left turns will improve traffic safety. Similar roads with added medians and restricted left turns have seen a 30 percent reduction in crashes.
Many people at the public meetings recognized the value of the change. “I believe it will definitely improve safety and traffic flow,” one person wrote in the comment forms.
Designers are still determining how the medians will look. Many people expressed interest in having attractive landscaped medians, but in some places the median will not be wide enough to sustain plantings. Ongoing maintenance costs for landscaping are also a consideration. Designers are working to identify key places where strategically placed landscaped “accent” areas can have the most visual impact.
The New Dixie Highway Project is a $30 million project to add bus rapid transit, coordinated traffic signals, and improved safety and mobility features to the corridor. More than $50 million in public funds is currently invested in improvements to Dixie Highway.