ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The city of St. Augustine is taking steps to make coming and going easier. Long term, some costly projects could save the city big bucks. A week long mobility study was just completed. Action News sat down with the key players to break down the findings.
Roundabouts. Rotundas. Reconfigured traffic signals. Those are just a few suggestions outlined in this 121-page mobility institute study for St. Augustine to relieve the congestion in and out of the city.
"We need to begin to think of ways and build consensus on ways to prioritize ways to move us in the direction of resolving those before they become a crisis," said Vice Mayor Nancy Sikes-Kline.
The study highlighted several key parts of town. The list is lengthy. City manager John Regan says crossing everything off the list could take 10 years. But they've already started work to fix the intersection of San Marco and May Street -- the spot that he says causes the most congestion.
"This really controls the capacity coming into the city," said Regan. "It's a little bit confusing if you look at the movements and on a Saturday or on a really busy day this gets really backed up and sometimes backed up over the Vilano Bridge."
Altogether, recommended changes come with a $14.6 million pricetag. But Regan says in 20 years time the economic benefit will far surpass that -- at $76 million.
"Right now we have about a 6 million visitor load. In terms of our economy, it's very much determined by the DOT road infrastructure that serves the community so it's really important from an economic development point of view," Regan said.
One idea early on was to make downtime one way in and one way out. It's something that got a lot of community opposition. Sikes-Kline says that one ended up on the cutting room floor.
Regan says visitors and locals will start seeing some of the changes within the next six months.
The study is online for people to read.