It’s exactly what concerned residents of the future FAMU Way Corridor needed, in lieu of sudden constructional revisions by city officials. Thursday evening, community members shared their concerns surrounding The FAMU Way Extension Project.
More than 50 people were in attendance the presentation, which included a slideshow of the plans. Guest were given packets which included four maps, focusing on different segments of the future roadway.
The FAMU Way Extension was originally drawn to run parallel to Gaines St, which is currently undergoing a facelift. However, after CSX Railroads said in a statement that the original plan would cause major traffic delays during construction, city officials modified the route. Instead of connecting with Lake Bradford Road between Circle K and Bank of America, the new proposition extends further along, to what is now Gamble Street.
Director of Public Works Gabe Menendez said the route modification will avoid the railroad tracks and alleviate all traffic concerns. According to Menendez, about 9,000 commuters use FAMU Way daily.
“We aren’t looking to increase the number of lanes from two to four,” said Menendez, but, “Our design will ensure a consistent traffic flow that won’t cause drivers and residents a headache.”
The new segment proposed by the city would run alongside the railroad, placing the roadway closer to residential areas. But this sparked a slew of questions from the community about pedestrian safety and noise.
A representative from Fountain Chapel AME Church, located on Eugenia Street, voiced concerns about several near-accidents because of speeding drivers. Others shared similar experiences and requested speed blocking mechanisms for a safer roadway.
“We are willing to make modifications to please the residents,” said Menendez. “Feedback is very important. This is only a model, and things can definetly change.”
The FAMU Way Extension will include five roundabouts. People familiar with south Tallahassee are comparing these roundabouts to the one at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Jim Lee Road. They say they’re worried about lighting at night and the overall safety of the roundabout, which they feel is lacking at the existing one.
“I think if they’re going to make round abouts, they need to be well lit, and safer than the one presently on Orange Ave,” said Carrolyn Huges, a resident who lives near the intersection.
Assistant City Manager Michelle Bono explained how the pathways and recreation areas will possibly be named after notable members of the community.
“We are looking into honoring citizens who’ve done outstanding achievements for this area,” said Bono. “Once everything is finalized, we can compile a list of names, and discuss where to place them.”
Officials answered questions about adequate parking areas, as well as a sound barrier to prevent changing a quiet area into a noisy roadway. They said they plan to take everyone’s issues into consideration. Bono says the city is very excited for the developments to FAMU Way, and other projects for south Tallahassee are in the workings.