Neighborhood Liveability, Traffic, and Smart Growth
2040 Vision of the Town of Orange Park – Building on her experience with Citizens for a Greater Orange Park, Connie encouraged her fellow councilmembers to re-examine Orange Park’s long-range plans so that they better reflect common-sense designs promoting safe, liveable neighborhoods and the “complete streets” approach to mobility, and providing a mix of uses to enhance a true sense of “town” instead of just “suburb.”
With an eye to inclusion and bringing in fresh perspectives, Connie pressed for active citizen participation as a crucial component of the process. The Town is currently working with the Haskell Corporation to create a new 2040 Vision for the Town as it rebuilds its master plan to encourage not just growth, but “smart growth.”
First Coast Expressway - Looking into the future, one of Connie’s major concerns is that northeast Clay County be fairly and fiercely represented on the County Commission. With the County continuing to grow rapidly, and with the advancement of the First Coast Expressway, Connie will continue to support smart growth that increases benefits across the board. In particular Connie plans to press for a wide re-think on the long-term toll that massively increased traffic has taken on both Blanding Boulevard and US 17. Revitalization is vastly needed in that area and Connie is already making connections to start on Day 1 as Commissioner to address those issues.
Pedestrian Bike/Walk Trail Connection to NAS - Connie has also been instrumental in pushing to extend the Black Creek Trail, which runs along Highway 17 from Black Creek to Orange Park, so that it can extend through Orange Park and north to NAS Jax in Duval County. NAS leadership has expressed enthusiastic interest in a partnership that could increase the utility of the trail while beautifying and enhancing a right-of-way for non-motor transport options like walking, running, and biking. Exploration and planning continue on this project.