City decal program faces setback

Flagler students can still park on city streets in Flagler model land area

By Glenn Judah

St. Augustine’s residential parking decal system will be pushed back to February to allow for some reworking, said John Regan, city chief operations officer.

The Parking and Traffic Advisory Committee voted on Oct. 26 to take more time to look at the proposed plan. This vote came two days after a city meeting where most residents in attendance showed discontent for the proposed decal system.

“It’s not a perfect system right now,” Regan said, referring to the decal system.

The plan’s purpose is to keep commuters out of the Flagler Model Land Neighborhood, which is the land between U.S. 1 on the west, Cordova Street on the east, Orange Street on the north and King Street on the south. Under the plan, any St. Augustine city resident can purchase a residential decal for $30 dollars to park in this neighborhood from 8 a.m to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. After 5 p.m. and on weekends anyone can park in these spots for free.

Regan said that Flagler College students make up a large portion of the commuters parking in these neighborhood spots.

Donna Webb, executive director of Flagler College Relations, feels the parking situation has been alleviated by the Visitor Information Center parking garage. Flagler College Students have purchased 625 parking permits for this garage.

“It’s too early for the parking program,” she said. “The parking garage will help solve this.”

Despite the new parking garage, Regan still believes there is a need for a residential parking program. “My concern is if we don’t have any residential plan, Flagler College students will take these spots,” Regan said.

Regan said, though, that the parking plan is left up to the residents of the Flagler Model Land Neighborhood.”We don’t do it if the neighborhood doesn’t want it,” Regan said.

Trista Straits, a junior at Flagler College and a resident of the Flagler Model Land Neighborhood, will not purchase a residential decal if given the option.”I don’t think it’s fair,” she said. “If you live their you should be able to park there for free.”

Regan said that there is quite a bit of support behind the plan, but it is not for everyone. He is focused on educating residents so they can make an informed decision.

“Saragossa Street is in favor of the plan, but Sevilla Street objects to the system,” he said.

Regan said the system might be put in place on a street-by-street basis. “The plan is not really going to change, but simplified to residential parking or paid parking,” Regan said.

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