Letter: Rally in the Alley today


Letter: Rally in the Alley today

Melinda Rakoncay
St Augustine, FL

Dear Editor:

There will be another “RALLY in the ALLEY” today from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. for citizens across the area to show their opposition to the proposed 7-Eleven project for the already congested intersection at May Street and San Marco Avenue in St Augustine, and I hope Historic City News readers will attend.

Those in opposition still welcome 7-Eleven to come to St Augustine — just not at that location.

This is not just a problem affecting the residents of Nelmar Terrace, which is a National Register Historic District, but this project will affect the traffic and safety of ALL residents and visitors, who enter St Augustine from Jacksonville and northern points, as well as those coming and going to Vilano Beach.

Some refer to this intersection as “Malfunction Junction”. Those of us that use San Marco Avenue on a regular basis, know how badly congested it can get on a busy weekend and during rush hours.

San Marco Avenue has been given a “D” rating by the St Augustine Mobility Institute which was made up of the City and the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization.

Because traffic will only be allowed to make a right hand turn out of the station, all southbound and eastbound traffic will have to go north before having to make 3 right turns to return to an already congested May Street before proceeding into town or to the beach.

This will frustrate visitors and residents alike, as traffic tries to get in and out of the 7- Eleven for not only gas, but ice, beer, sodas, and snacks. The intersection is already a tight turn for large semi-trucks, and it will be impossible for tankers to easily enter and leave the station without causing further traffic problems.

This 7-Eleven convenience store and 12-pump gas station will be open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, meaning there will be no relief from these traffic problems. People opposed to this project should ask 7- Eleven Corporate not to issue any franchises at this location.

This 7-Eleven project does not meet the requirements of the Entry Corridor Standards of St Augustine, which are part of the City Code. These codes were written “to enhance the total visitor experience,” with the “unique characteristics that distinguish St Augustine from “anywhere USA.” It requires a “Traditional Commercial” look of shops that reflect turn-of-the-century styles (early 1900s), where the buildings are to face San Marco Avenue.

To provide better pedestrian access, driveways, parking areas and curb cuts shall not be encouraged on the primary street facings for San Marco Avenue. Pedestrian access is very important in this intersection, which is used by people walking into town and the library and Davenport Park, as well as students of the Florida School of the Deaf and the Blind.

We ask the City Commissioner to uphold these codes, and provide for the safety and welfare of both the residents and visitors of St Augustine.

Let us know what you think >>