Florida Park Drive is finally getting its Prozac: after innumerable complaints lodged before the Palm Coast City Council over the past dozen years and almost as innumerable punts by the council of one idea or another, the city is moving ahead with plans to add traffic-calming “devices,” the Xanax equivalent of anti-traffic anxiety measures.
Not to worry: there will be no roundabouts. No speed bumps, either, though getting there will not be nearly as speedy as traffic on the road: don;t expect changes until 2022.
The most notable change, according to a city release issued today, will be the addition of two medians to add traffic calming measures. One will be located to the north between Flinstone Court and Foster Lane. The other will be situated to the south between Fernham Lane and Farragut Drive. These medians will produce a traffic shift for vehicles on the road, which is intended to slow traffic. Lanes will be 10 feet wide on either side of the median.
The greenery-enhanced island will include a couple of palm trees and flowering ground cover, with native grass, shrubbery and flowering cover on either side of the traffic island past the edge of the pavement, for added aesthetics. Here’s the whole concept (click on the image for larger view:
The city in its release provided draft designs planned to bring enhancements to Florida Park Drive. These updates intend to bring significant improvements to both the aesthetics of the roadway as well as adding traffic calming features.
Residents along Florida Park Drive have raised concerns over increased traffic on the road. They’ve cited noise, pollution, speed. A traffic study showed no issue on the road, but complaints have persisted. The street’s design is closer to that of a major city thoroughfare, with its homes built close to the pavement with little buffer, than like most of Palm Coast’s other streets and parkways. The city over the years has considered all sorts of options, including restricting traffic on Florida Park Drive to “local” traffic, an option considered unfeasible, restricting truck traffic–or doing nothing, which a more recent council found unacceptable. Ironically, the driving force behind the coming changes–Milissa Holland–is gone.
In January of 2020 City staff met with residents to discuss various options in a neighborhood meeting. The draft design and timeline are a direct result of that meeting and additional feedback from residents.
The current project plan is expected to have final designs completed by the end of summer 2021. Once designs are approved, the project will go out for bid. Construction is expected to begin in the early part of 2022 with completion expected near the middle of 2022. The projected cost of the project is $250,000. Funds will come from the Streets Improvement Fund.
With the addition of these medians, beautification improvements are proposed as well. The enhancements include green groundcover within and alongside the medians, a shift in the sidewalk, concrete pads with benches, trees, and screening shrubs.
“We appreciate the participation and input from residents that have helped bring about this plan,” said Director of Stormwater & Engineering Carl Cote. “Once completed, we are confident these enhancements will provide the solutions to address resident concerns and be in line with the great quality of life our residents expect.”
The city intends to keep the community updated as the project progresses. Residents will be able to view detailed project information and follow project progress on the City’s ‘Capital Improvement Projects’ online map by visiting www.palmcoastgov.com/maps.
Florida Park Drive residents can expect updates through direct email, including traffic pattern impacts during construction. Email addresses have been obtained from utility accounts as well as those who have provided contact information to staff. Residents can also sign up to be included on the list by clicking here or emailing contact information to [email protected].