Oct. 9 Mail: Mobility Fee, Mercy and Malls
Mobility Fee Detail
As the chair for the Jacksonville Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), I was very interested in reading the Editor’s Note, “Street Smart,” in the Sept. 25 issue of Folio Weekly.
I share your concern over the ongoing hazards to pedestrians and bicyclists in our community, but I’d like to point out that the current mobility fee waiver bill (2013-94) includes a “hold harmless” provision for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
Here’s an excerpt from the enacted bill:
“In order to maintain the same level of funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects, while allowing for a partial waiver of mobility fees, the Planning and Development Department is directed to allocate, from each mobility fee collected during the temporary partial waiver period, the full amount that would have normally been allocated to the applicable bicycle and pedestrian projects in the absence of any partial waiver, and then allocate any remaining funds to the applicable transportation project in the applicable Mobility Zone.”
Even with this hold harmless provision in effect, bicycle and pedestrian advocates are very much looking forward to the scheduled expiration of the mobility fee waiver in about one year from now, as called for in the city’s ordinance.
Regional Advocacy Director
Florida Bicycle Association, First Coast Chapter
‘Consider Some Mercy’
The Backpage Editorial (“Unjust for All,” Sept. 25) addressed serious flaws lingering within our justice system here in Duval County. The writer of the article, Robert Pace, delved beneath the surface to reveal the complexity of getting a fair trial here in Duval County and elsewhere in the South. I am by no means an expert on the subject, but my own observations can’t help but agree with Pace’s analysis. However, I don’t think State Attorney Angela Corey should be singled out. Judges, lawyers, political clout and big bucks often tend to tip the scales of justice unfairly against the rights of the ill-informed first-time offender.
A few weeks ago, my foreign-born friend and I entered the State Attorney’s Office on Bay Street. All of the officers were courteous and helpful. However, they said they could not override the judge’s ruling of 1994. We left disappointed but felt we were on the right track.
My friend’s son had been convicted of second-degree murder here in 1994. He’s already been incarcerated for almost 20 years, with 30 more years still remaining on his sentence. Our request made to the State Attorney’s Office was merely to have the criminal case reviewed for possible reduction of the sentence or a pardon granted if the conduct of the prisoner proves worthy of it. This prisoner is foreign-born. The father is foreign-born, also. English is not their first language, and our legal system is unfamiliar to them.
The father (who is now my very good friend) is a kind and compassionate man. He loves American people but struggles with the English language and the American way of doing things.
Therefore, I intend to help him in any way possible by helping his imprisoned son get at least a fair hearing and a review of the facts surrounding his criminal case. We need a legal person to step up and help us.
The facts of this case do not compare in any way to the likes of the Boston Marathon bomber. So why should his case be judged just as severely? I think it’s time to consider some mercy.
William H. Shuttleworth
Moving Full Steam Ahead
Thank you, Denise [Reagan]! Preach it! Anyone who could think a mall should be the center of our great city has guzzled one too many Big Gulps and frankly has no soul [“Town Center Cannot Be Town Square,” Sept. 11]. I was born and raised here, then moved away for about 8 years, to move back in 2010. The leaps and bounds Jacksonville made in that time in progressive culture and its appreciation for the arts is amazing, and we are still moving full steam ahead. The only people holding our progress back are the same small-minded philistines that agree with the appalling suggestion which you so eloquently argued against. Thank you to Sweet Theory Baking Co. in the King Street district (my ’hood and proud of it) for linking to this article on their Facebook page!
Sticking with the Core
I’ll stick to the locally owned shops in Riverside, San Marco and Springfield. I can’t stand St. Johns Town Center, I just can’t. I feel like everyone there should jump on conveyor belts and sing, “we don’t need no education.” I have lived in Riverside for 20 years and have seen it change for both good and bad, same with San Marco. Downtown is definitely trying, and I think more effort should be put into building Downtown back up.
Don’t Forget About Regency
All this having been said, money not only needs to be put into Downtown but the areas leading into Downtown. The Regency area, including the mall, needs to be revitalized in some way to bring an upswing into that area. Don't ignore the bruises on the banana when you eat it.