Tue, Jun 25, 2024

Neighbors have been fighting a proposed Chick-fil-A for more than a year. The study, paid for by Chick-fil-A, says the restaurant won’t cause traffic congestion.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The saga continued Monday night in Jacksonville’s Oceanway area as neighbors continue to fight a proposed Chick-fil-A in their neighborhood.

Dozens of neighbors asked questions during a community meeting about a 600-plus page traffic study, paid for by Chick-fil-A. The study said the fast-food restaurant won’t cause traffic congestion in the area.

The city’s traffic engineering chief, Chris LeDew, said he agreed with the findings of the study, but made several recommendations to help mitigate traffic. Suggestions including a right turn lane into the restaurant entrance on Lady Lake Road, and a traffic signal at the entrance to the North Creek subdivision at the corner of Bradley Cove Road and Duval Station Road.

Chick-fil-A adopted those changes. 

The restaurant said it will be able to contain traffic in its parking lot and it won’t spill out of its entrance on Lady Lake Road.

But, neighbors said Lady Lake Road would be congested as it is used as a through way to get to the neighborhood and into the neighboring Publix shopping center.

One neighbor asked LeDew about traffic on Lady Lake Road trying to make a left-hand turn into the Chick-fil-A. 

“Someone would need to let them make a left,” the neighbor said to LeDew.

LeDew agreed, but still did not think it would cause traffic backups, pointing to Chick-fil-A’s study and how it says it can contain the traffic.

“That’s not what I believe is going to happen,” LeDew said.

“That dog won’t hunt,” said Robin Hood, another neighbor.

Hood organized his own traffic simulation a few months ago, and came to the conclusion traffic would back up on Lady Lake Road and into the subdivision.

RELATED: Oceanway neighbor collecting his own traffic data where a Chick-fil-A is proposed

LeDew, representatives from Chick-fil-A, city councilmembers Reggie Gaffney Jr. and Mike Gay, a representative from councilmember Joe Carlucci’s office, the city’s traffic experts, and the mayor’s office were all present at the meeting. They all took notes based on the neighbors’ comments. Everyone who spoke at Monday’s meeting doesn’t want Chick-fil-A as a neighbor.

“I don’t think we got a lot of feedback from tonight that helps us understand the plans, helps us understand the traffic study, help us understand the motivation,” a neighbor said. “So, we still are looking for some answers that would make all of this make sense.”

LeDew said he will take all of the suggestions and concerns from the neighbors and see if additional changes need to be made to the traffic study.

The city’s Land Use and Zoning Committee (LUZ) will vote on the proposal June 4.

No matter what recommendation the LUZ committee makes, the proposal will go before city council the following week for a final vote.

RELATED: ‘We’re just being played’: Frustrations boil as proposed Oceanway Chick-fil-A vote is pushed back again

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