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Group: Accident highlights need for sidewalk on Ponte Vedra Boulevard

11:50 PM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- A woman visiting Ponte Vedra Beach is in serious condition tonight after being hit by a car while jogging on Ponte Vedra Boulevard on Wednesday.

Valerie Perry, 40, of Charlotte, N.C., was struck by the car around 6 a.m. A group of locals has been trying make the area safer.
 
The stretch of Ponte Vedra Boulevard like the area where the jogger was hit today doesn't have any sidewalks and for those walking, running and biking, it means often times they end up in the road, forcing cars to cross the double-yellow line to miss them.
 
"There's absolutely no space, no space and that could happen real quick for a car to hit you ... I would say a couple of inches or a foot  or so and that mirror can clip you or that fender can clip you," said Justin Michaelman.

Michaelman is one of dozens who jogs down Ponte Vedra Boulevard.
 
"I've lived in Ponte Vedra for 32 years and I've lived near Ponte Vedra Boulevard for a long time and the number of times I've seen people have to jump off the side the of the road to avoid a car. It happens frequently," John Patton said.
 
"Our first and foremost concern is safety. There are so many people out here riding bicycles, jogging, walking going to the beach, baby joggers and it's an accident waiting to happen and unfortunately it happened," said Gary Jurenovich, municipal service district vice-chairman.
 
John Patton and Jurenovich are part of a group that has been working to extend the sidewalk on a two-and-a-half mile stretch of road from Corona Road south to the 900 block of Ponte Vedra Boulevard.
 
"The effort really began to go door-to-door collecting money in mid October and just within the last month, it's close to 95,000 dollars. The goal for the group is 220," Jurenovich said.
 
To make the project happen, the group is trying to raise 60% of the total cost from residents who volunteer to chip in money. The Municipal Service District would cover 20% and St. Johns County would fund 20%

They hope to have enough money raised from the community by the end of the year so the sidewalk could be installed by next summer.
 
"The sidewalk is really a benefit for the whole community and today's tragedy just shows that," Jurenovich said.
 
As for the tragic accident this morning that left a jogger to in critical condition, the St. Johns County Sheriffs Office is still investigating but as now no charges have been filed.

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