The parking challenges in the City of St Augustine Beach have been ignored for over a decade and members of the St Augustine Beach Civic Association think its time to get serious about a solution.
St Augustine Beach Civic Association members and others in the community have been shocked at how quickly both bodies were moving towards a pay to park concept.
“It’s time the County and City quit kicking the can down the road,” St Augustine Beach Civic Association President and community activist William Jones told Historic City News Friday. “The County has moved forward on a pay to park concept and the City is following suit.”
Twelve years ago, former City Commissioner Michael Longstreet asked the County about adding parking spaces on Pope Road near A1A Beach Boulevard. According to Longstreet, County officials said it could not be done because the sidewalk would encroach into a piece of Anastasia State Park.
St Augustine Beach Civic Association has since learned that information was inaccurate. The County has an easement that will allow approximately 60 angled parking spaces on the north side of Pope Road between the YMCA and the Boulevard.
Beach-goers and surfers have been parallel parking in this area for years. Creating angled spaces would have doubled the available parking.
According to Jones, this information was shared with both County Administration on multiple occasions in late 2017 and early 2018. The County response was to put up new “No Parking” signs which eliminated 30 spaces.
In the St Augustine Beach Civic Association regular meeting earlier this week, membership voted to encourage the City and County to stand down for the moment on pay to park.
“Our members want the community to seek immediate action to address the lack of parking”, Jones said. “St Augustine Beach Civic Association is making two specific requests of both bodies.
- First we’ like Pope Road parking to be available before the start of the summer tourism wave.
- And second, we are asking the County to lease the old Mosquito Control property to the City for $1 per year so a satellite lot can be created for tourists. We believe the City and County should partner on the creation of shuttle program.
St Augustine Beach Civic Association observed that all the talk has been about generating revenue but neither the City or County have brought forward a plan that would create additional parking.
“It’s time for the government to stop playing kick the can and address the problem head on,” Jones said.