Artillery Lane may close permanently to cars

400-AVILES-STREET-CAFESHistoric City News was informed that the City of St Augustine temporarily closed the intersection of Artillery Lane, east of the intersection with St George Street; for the length of the roadway to its intersection with Aviles Street for a trial period beginning in October of 2012 until March of 2013 to evaluate the impact of a proposed closure.

During the regular business meeting of the Commission on Monday evening, Ordinance No. 2013-09 will be introduced; which, if approved, would close to vehicular traffic the easterly 92-feet of Artillery Lane located west of the westerly boundary of the right-of-way of Aviles Street, if the commissioners find that the intersection of Artillery Lane and Aviles Street poses significant threats to the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Examples in support of the finding, according to a staff review, include the intermingling of a large number of pedestrians and vehicles and the narrow vehicular turning radius which increases the likelihood of damage to vehicles and adjacent structures.

The City Commission must find that closing the intersection to vehicular traffic would significantly mitigate the described threats. Staff reports that they found no issues which would prevent the City from closing the intersection.

The City has provided notice to owners of real property adjacent to, abutting and near the public street, avenue or road proposed for closure and has provided notice to owners of real property affected by the closure of such public street, avenue or road which notice apprises said owners of the intent of the city to close said public street, avenue or road, the date of the public hearing for this ordinance and the right of said owners to be heard at such public hearing.

During the Aviles Street redesign, the City reached an agreement with Trinity Episcopal Parish that allows the city to maintain parking meters on their lot that runs along the section of St George Street — between Artillery Lane and Cadiz Street. That lot would remain accessible after the street closure, if approved.

If passed on first reading, the proposed ordinance will return at a future meeting for second reading, public comment, and a vote. The ordinance could take affect within the following ten days, if approved.

If you plan to attend, the regular City Commission meeting will be held on Monday, April 8, 2013, beginning at 5:00 P.M. in the Alcazar Room of the City Hall Building located at 75 King Street in St Augustine. The meeting will be televised on local cable channel 3.

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