Accomplishments

Nassau County 20 years of bicycle infrastructure improvement 1995 to 2015
By Jonathan Tomassetti

Location

1995

2015

Bridge at south end of Amelia Island

Only the “fishing” bridge existed. It was open to traffic. People were fishing off the bridge from morning until late in the evening. The grate on drawbridge was not safe for cycling.

There is a new bridge with wide shoulders. The fishing bridge remains open for recreational use including cycling. Parts of the grates have been covered with metal plates. Restrooms, water fountains & showers have been added to the north end of bridge

A1A from Gerbing Road to the south end of the island

Had narrow shoulders.  There were no traffic calming features such as circles so car traffic was very fast.

Entire length has bicycles lanes. 4 traffic circles have been added to this stretch of highway which has forced car traffic to go more slowly.  

A1A from Peter’s Point to the south end of the island.

There was no off-road bicycle trail. 

There is now an off-road paved bicycle trail from Peter’s Point to the south end of the island. There is also an additional off-road bicycle trail on Julia Street.

Burney Beach Park

Did not exist

The park includes restrooms, water fountain, picnic tables which provides a rest stop for cyclists. 

A1A from Main Beach to Gerbing Road

Had narrow shoulders. No traffic light at the corner of A1A & Amelia Island parkway which made it a dangerous intersection.

Entire length has bicycles lanes. 1 traffic circle replaced the stop light at the corner of Saddler & A1A. Stop light added at the corner of A1A & Amelia Parkway.

First Street from Saddler Road to Bill Melton Road

Unpaved dirt road that was impassable for road bikes, Thus there was no alternative to A1A (which had no bike lanes)

It is now paved and provides a low-traffic alternative to A1A

Saddler Road from 14th to A1A

No bicycles lanes

Bicycle Lanes

Jasmine St from 14th to A1A

No sidewalk

Paved off-road bike trail

Amelia Island Greenway

Did not exit

Provides many unpaved trails for off-road bicycling

Fort Clinch Mountain Bike Trail

Did not exist

6 miles of mountain bike trails that are rated among the best in North Florida.

Amelia Parkway from A1A (Gerbing) to A1A (8th). 

Very narrow road with no shoulder. Bicycles avoided this road because it was too unsafe for cycling.

Road has been widened and bicycle lanes were added.

14th street from Saddler to Jasmine

2 lane road with narrow shoulders

4 lane road with bicycle lanes

14th street from Jasmine to Atlantic Avenue

2 lane road with narrow shoulders.

2 lanes road has been widened and wide shoulders have been added.

8th Street from Shave Bridge to Centre Street.

No bicycle infrastructure

Bicycle share the roads have been added. (needs more improvements) 

Dee Dee Bartles Boat Ramp

Did not exist. 14th street leading to the Poggy Plant was in poor condition.

Dee Dee Bartles boat ramp has been added and includes restrooms & picnic tables which provides a rest stop for cyclists. 14th street has been repaved.

SR 200 from Shave Bridge to I-95

Had narrow shoulders

Entire length has bicycles lanes (although in 2015 parts of the road is under construction which is temporarily unfriendly for cycling) Melton Nelson Boat Ramp includes restrooms, water fountain, picnic tables which provides a rest stop for cyclists.  Rest area next to Yulee Post office with restrooms & water fountain.

Amelia Island Concourse

Did not exist

Well lit 4 lane road with bicycle lanes.

17 from south border of Nassau County to north border of Nassau County

2 lane road with narrow shoulders and no shoulders on the bridges.

Road surface has been improved including wider shoulders. Bridges all widened and have shoulders.

SR 200 from I-95 to Callahan

2 lane road with narrow shoulders

4 lane road with wide shoulders.

301 from Callahan to Bryceville

2 lane road with very narrow shoulders. Unsafe for cycling.

Soon to be completed 4 lane road with bicycle lanes.

By Mike Pikula

We have added sidewalks where they would improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, especially youth cyclists:

  1. Along S.14th St from AIP roundabout to Sadler (FDOT funded after our presentation to FDOT Dist 2).
  2. Along several roads around Emma Love Hardee Elementary School (SRTS grant).
  3. Along several roads around Southside Elementary School and the Boys and Girls Club (SRTS grant).

Convinced Nassau County Planning Department to create an active inventory of sidewalks and bike lanes and create planning maps for additional trails and bike lanes in Nassau County which have been submitted to State Greenways and Trails Department. Worked with County Planners and ECG to create detailed maps and displays about the AIT; now posted at the info kiosk.

We have added "Share the Road" signage at roundabouts, and also along various roads in Fernandina such as N. Fletcher and Citrona.

Some other related efforts to consider; some are physical improvements and others are more in the "encouragement" category:

  1. Worked successfully through FDOT and the NFTPO to obtain grant for construction of the Amelia Island Trail (phase 1).
  2. Obtained county funding to build the short bike trail from AIT east along Julia St.
  3. We have successfully submitted grant applications for the Simmons Trail (to be designed in FY2016, constructed FY2017/8) to run from Ball Fields on Bailey Rd along Simmons ROW to S. Fletcher Av.
  4. We have submitted grant requests for next phases of AIT along AIP from S. Fletcher north to SR 20/A1A (pending funding in out-years, perhaps FY20).
  5. Funded and constructed info kiosk at Peters Point Park for East Coast Greenway on the AIT.
  6. Installed signage and benches along AIT.
  7. Installed bike racks at Peters Point Park and at fishing bridge in Amelia Island State Park (another kiosk and rack pending in July/August).
  8. Convinced State Park Officials to route ECG and AIT over the State Park's fishing bridge.
  9. Currently working with FDOT, city of JAX and Talbot Island State Park to complete safe off-road trail from Nassau River to St Johns River Ferry (segment 3 under construction on Ft George Island in Duval County).
  10. Work regularly with Nassau County Engineering Dept and FDOT contractors to keep bike lanes maintained.
  11. Still trying to re-start passenger and bike ferry service between Fernandina and St. Marys, GA.
  12. Working with City to create new off-road bike trail along part of Egans Creek.
  13. Worked with East Coast Greenway Alliance to route and retain the ECG through Nassau County and Amelia Island.
  14. Worked with City to successfully obtain national recognition as a "Bicycle Friendly Community".
  15. Our local bicycling community hosted the NFBC's Endless Summer Watermelon Ride locally for 3 successive years.
  16. Lobbied FDOT designers to include bike lanes on new Sisters Creek Bridge, SR200/A1A (widening construction) and along US Hwy 301 (widening construction).
  17. Worked with TDC to publish a bicycling guide for Amelia Island (rev 1 planned this year).
  18. Worked with Chamber of Commerce to add bike trails on their "birds eye view" tourist map of Amelia Island.
  19. Worked with Rayonier/Terra Pointe to encourage trail building in their new East Nassau Development.

Established "bicycle-oriented" community relations with Nassau County Sheriffs Dept. and City of Fernandina Beach Police Dept. Arranged, hosted an abbreviated "Cycling Saavy" course for local island cyclists, and organized basic bicycle maintenance training by bike shops for new cyclists. Encouraged local cyclists to join NFBC. City held two youth bike rodeos.

Created local web sites about cycling and trails and a non-profit corporation to encourage cycling on Amelia Island and share information about local cycling activity. Established recurring group bicycle rides on Amelia Island, Nassau and Duval County.

 

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