TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — FAMU Way, a project more than 10 years in the making, reached a milestone as the roadway connection to Lake Bradford Road is nearly complete.
"FAMU Way is much more than a road," said Mayor John Dailey. "It is a shining example of what’s possible when local government and the community work together. From the beginning, the goal was not only to address transportation needs but to also demonstrate a commitment by the City of Tallahassee to the surrounding neighbors, businesses and university. Through extensive collaboration, we have achieved the community’s vision and invested in the creation of a corridor that we can all be proud of now and for generations to come.”
To celebrate, the City of Tallahassee and community leaders, joined by area residents including long-time Citizen Advisory Committee members for the project, will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, April 30, at 10 a.m. to officially open the road to traffic.
The event will be held outdoors along FAMU Way near the Lake Bradford Road intersection.
Members of the community are invited to attend either in-person or virtually by watching the live stream of the event at Facebook.com/CityofTLH. For those attending in person, masks are required.
"The completion of the FAMU Way connection to Lake Bradford Road is an event of practical and symbolic importance to Florida A&M University," said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. The roadway provides greater access to our campus at a time when we are looking forward to the resumption of in-person operations, as well as athletic and other events. The opening of this strategic corridor is also a reminder of our historical mission to provide access to educational opportunities for citizens from underserved communities."
Community meetings for this project began in 2010 to address the need for an additional east-west corridor that would enhance traffic flow. As plans progressed, the conversation continued with the community through extensive outreach efforts that included going door-to-door to talk with residents in the area, hosting Saturday morning pancake breakfasts and engaging through many other workshops and public meetings.
These outreach efforts provided for direct community feedback and ensured area residents were engaged throughout the process.
“Thinking back to the groundbreaking in 2014, we knew then that FAMU Way would be one of the most beautiful roads in Tallahassee," said City Commissioner Curtis Richardson. "What I love most about this transformation is the collaboration that got us here. This project is a true reflection of the community, and you can see the influences along the entire corridor. From the gathering space at Lake Anita that FAMU students helped design and the park for the neighborhood kids to wide sidewalks and lush landscaping that the citizen advisory committee expressed a desire for, coupled with the connectivity to local businesses, this roadway has it all.”
During the design and planning stages, it was often said that FAMU Way would be the most beautiful road in Tallahassee. Completed in three phases, this project transformed a roadway with a deep ditch running alongside it into a safe and functional corridor, designed to accommodate multiple modes of transportation.
The project extended FAMU Way from Wahnish Way to Lake Bradford Road and created three roundabouts, wide sidewalks, a multi-use trail connecting to the St. Marks Trail, a community gathering place at Lake Anita, a children’s playground, landscaping and much more.
“FAMU Way is now open," Mayor Pro Tem Jeremy Matlow said. "Locals and visitors alike can put on their walking shoes or jump on a bike and come see everything the area has to offer.”
Through collaboration with Florida A&M University’s History Department, stories about the history of the area were collected from past and current residents. These memories were incorporated into a historical narrative that now serves as a guide for the History and Culture Trail project being coordinated by the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, which will recognize the area’s history in physical form along the corridor.
While the final phase of the roadway will soon be complete, work in the area will continue with Blueprint projects in the works to enhance stormwater drainage adjacent to the road, construct a new skate park and add other amenities along the roadway. The City is currently in the design phase of a proposed project to extend the corridor upgrades along the existing portion of FAMU Way from South Bronough Street to South Monroe Street.
For more information about FAMU Way and the ribbon-cutting event, visit Talgov.com/FAMUWay.