City Manager John Regan informed Historic City News that he is crediting the diligent work of a St Augustine City Commissioner with winning a much needed traffic circulation study for the city from the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization.
According to Regan, Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline, a member of the Transportation Planning Organization, saw an opportunity to budget the funds and then began encouraging city staff to pursue the grant — budgeted at $125,000.
The study should be completed by June 2013, Regan told reporters. The purpose of the study, according to a Transportation Planning Organization spokesperson, is to, “develop an overall transportation plan — incorporating developments over the past 20 years as well as future potential developments; such as pedestrian, bicycling, transit and rail improvement needs to be developed for all modes of transportation in and around the city”.
The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization, in making its decision, realized that getting visitors into and out of the downtown historic district is challenging. There are essentially three constrained roadways — King Street, San Marco Avenue, and SR-A1A across the Bridge of Lions.
In an announcement distributed by Public Affairs Director Paul Williamson, Sikes-Kline emphasized the impact that the “multi-year 450th Commemoration” will have on city traffic; claiming travelers “will impact all types of traffic that moves through our historic districts including motorized, non-motorized and pedestrian traffic”.
“This study will identify what might be done to meet those unique needs,” said Sikes-Kline. Of course, the grant will only fund the study — any corrective measures recommended will have to be paid for through other sources.
“This is a big deal; securing funds for a study like this is the necessary first step towards any broad based, long-term changes that will improve traffic in St Augustine,” said City Manager John Regan. “We should thank Commissioner Sikes-Kline and Planning and Building Director Mark Knight for their diligent pursuit of this support — the payoff for the entire community will be big.”