Letter: Frustration with the congestion in the city

Letter: Frustration with the congestion in the city

Nancy E. Shaver, Mayor
St Augustine, FL

Let’s face it: we’re all really frustrated with the congestion in our City. The truth of the matter is that we have had studies and committees—and made modest progress. But we haven’t had an overall plan (not a study) we could confidently act on.

The Commission unanimously made solving our mobility challenges a top priority, and earmarked funds to get the help we need. If it were easy, we would already have a solution. But, what makes it so hard?

You’ve said, “We just need remote parking and a shuttle,” an idea that makes us all nod our heads. But that solution often carries a $100 million capital investment. That’s about $7,000 per tax payer. The truth is that we’ll have to make some big bets with big price tags to solve this problem. Making those decisions without careful thought and expert assistance wouldn’t serve our citizens and our tax payers responsibly.

We now have a consulting team in place that will engage all of us, consider your many thoughtful suggestions, bring us expertise, best practices, and realistic cost-effective options for solutions, beginning with a three-day workshop next month.

But the City is not sitting still waiting for that plan. These initiatives highlighted in the last Commission meeting are currently underway:

– Managing events with blackout dates, etc.
– Negotiations with the Coast Guard for fewer bridge openings
– Reducing cut-through traffic in Nelmar Terrace and Davis Shores
– Remote parking for 4th of July and Nights of Lights
– Improving traffic light timing
– Better pedestrian safety for Anastasia Boulevard
– Improved truck loading zone management
– Piloting one-way streets in Lincolnville
– Piloting pedestrian-only access along Hypolita

And next up, exploring residential parking permits.

If you have ideas, send them to me at nshaver@citystaug.com. or to Xavier Pellicer, our mobility coordinator at xpellicer@citystaug.com. With your help, participation, (and patience) we will make real progress.

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