ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Traffic, parking, and walkability are all things that the City of St. Augustine is looking to improve with their King Street Master Plan.
While this master plan has many changes in it, including wider sidewalks, the one that’s drawing the most concern from locals is a traffic pattern change at the base of the Bridge of Lions.
City officials believe a big part of the traffic problem can be alleviated by requiring everyone to only go right when traveling westbound on the bridge. Then if cars need to go left they would just have to make a U-turn farther north.
Long time St. Augustine resident Bruce Maguire says, “When you look at the traffic flow now it’s a problem but by moving a problem here to there and creating more U-turns and more traffic patterns, they’re not solving anything.”
He’s not denying the fact that St. Augustine definitely needs to find a solution to their traffic problem, but he believes their alternative isn’t the answer.
“All they are really doing is transferring and relocating the traffic congestion.”
But the city says this change would only add 91 seconds of travel time for a driver who has to make that U-turn.
St. Augustine Mobility Manager Reuben Franklin explains, “It’s significantly reduces queue times that people have to wait on when the drawbridge goes up.”
At peak times, like Saturday afternoon, the city says it could drop traffic times from 28 minutes down to five.
“The cities old we can’t widen roads to build our way out of this, so we’re trying to rethink how people move around the city,” explains Franklin.
But locals we spoke to say they’re not sold on it just yet.
Maguire believes, “They’re not solving anything, they’re making it worse.”
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