City to address St. Augustine Beach parking issues | News
ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. -- Another First Coast Beach is inundated by cars and traffic.
Now that summertime is here, St. Augustine Beach is getting really full, really fast… and so is the parking lot right next to the pier.
St. Augustine Beach and St. Johns County leaders are trying to come up with solutions to the parking problem. St. Augustine Beach city commissioners will address the issue Monday night.
Monday afternoon, Michael Feagle of St. Augustine Beach couldn't find a parking space at the lot by the St. Augustine Beach pier, so he created his own spot.
He smiled and nodded, "Oh I pulled up on the curb!"
Locals aren't the only one roaming the parking lot looking for a space.
Irma Salgado is visiting from Texas and said, "Well, we were lucky because somebody did move out and we were able to get in. If not, we would not have found another parking space."
A county official said the lot at the St. Augustine Beach pier has indeed become more crowded, saying now the weekdays are as busy as weekends and weekends are as busy as holidays.
People are pouring into the area. St. Augustine Beach has been mentioned in publications as a good beach to visit, a new and very popular restaurant, Salt Life, has opened across the street, and free concerts are available on Wednesday nights at the pavilion by the pier.
The traffic has increased so much that now some nearby businesses and condos have hired security to keep their parking spaces for their own patrons.
St. Augustine Beach and St. Johns County leaders are considering a few options such as allowing parking on side streets where you cannot currently park, restriping the parking lot in order to create more spaces, and even starting a shuttle route from the lot to a satellite parking lot.
Salgado said, "I think they need to start making better parking areas because it's a big tourist area."
For now, folks like Feagle say they'll continue to park wherever they can, even it it's on the grass or on a curb.