The Florida Department of Transportation is proposing a bean-shaped roundabout that crosses a railroad track in two spots and eliminates multiple traffic signals. | FDOTThe Florida Department of Transportation is proposing a bean-shaped roundabout that crosses a railroad track in two spots and eliminates multiple traffic signals. | FDOT
The Florida Department of Transportation is proposing a bean-shaped roundabout that crosses a railroad track in two spots and eliminates multiple traffic signals. | FDOT

Newfangled roundabout planned in Murray Hill

Published on April 24, 2024 at 11:52 am

It is a mixmaster in Murray Hill — three busy roads intersecting at two points north and south of double sets of CSX railroad tracks.

An average of 8,300 vehicles a day travel on McDuff Avenue South as it intersects with an average of 5,300 a day at Post Street and 2,700 per day at the Roosevelt Boulevard crossing. That’s a lot of traffic before trains get factored in, according to statistics from the Florida Department of Transportation.

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To improve safety, the FDOT is proposing a redesign — an unusual bean-shaped roundabout with train tracks running through the middle of it.

It might be the only roundabout of this shape in the area, the FDOT said.

The configuration does away with all of the intersections and their traffic lights. It replaces them with freer-flowing movement through only two lanes, plus railroad crossing arms, multiple crosswalks and lots of signs on roadways and sign posts.

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The public can see the proposal during a meeting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the FDOT Jacksonville office, 2198 Edison Ave. Project staff will answer questions and accept comments, and then citizen input will be solicited at a hearing at 6 p.m.

“It may look very new and very confusing, but I just want folks to remember that this is technically a roundabout that has had success throughout our county,” FDOT spokesman Jacob Pickering said. “It’s kind of an elongated roundabout, if you will. I expect folks to look at the concept and be a bit surprised — maybe their eyes might widen and say, wow, this is different. But upon closer look, you will be able to see that this type of design is what’s needed for the area to become a safer and better intersection, and less wait time and less signals.”

This is the intersection where Roosevelt Boulevard, McDuff Avenue South and Post Street cross CSX railroad tracks. | Google
This is the intersection where Roosevelt Boulevard, McDuff Avenue South and Post Street cross CSX railroad tracks. | Google

The design eliminates traffic signals at Post Street and McDuff Avenue South. Traffic lights at Roosevelt Boulevard’s intersections with McDuff Avenue South as well as Post Street also would be eliminated, the FDOT said. Instead, traffic would circle the roundabout, flowing on or off Roosevelt Boulevard, McDuff Avenue South, Post Street and Plymouth Street without signals.

The only traffic control devices would be railroad crossing arms on the roundabout’s east and west side crossings with the railroad tracks.

This all reduces the number of travel lanes and eliminates traffic signals to help prevent rear-end crashes, Pickering said.

Along with the thousands of vehicles, eight to 10 trains pass through each day, taking a few minutes each to pass. From 2015 to 2020, 124 vehicle crashes have occurred at this location, as well as three collisions between trains and vehicles.

“The department is trying to improve overall safety here at this intersection, so this project is essentially eliminating the number of travel lanes that intersect with that railroad crossing from seven lanes down to two,” Pickering said. “This will prevent the number of cars that have to travel over the tracks in hopes that it will become much safer than it currently is.”

This is the current design of the multi-lane intersection that the Florida Department of Transportation is proposing to replace. | Google

People can comment online at nflroads.com/VPH or by phone at (914) 614-3221, access code 375-313-906.

Input from residents and business owners will be studied, and a final proposal will be presented at a public meeting in about a year.

“We want to increase motorists’ and pedestrian ability to enter and exit this community quicker and safer, and become less dependent on Edgewood Avenue,” Pickering said.

Construction could begin by mid-2025, at a projected cost of $6.52 million. Completion is targeted for the summer of 2026.


author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.
author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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