Major transportation study budgeted for city
In budgeting funds, the NFTPO described the study’s purpose as a way to “develop an overall transportation plan, incorporating developments over the past 20 years as well as future potential developments such as pedestrian, bicycling, transit and rail improvement needs to be developed for all modes of transportation in and around the city.” The study is scheduled to be completed in June 2013.
“The city is very fortunate to have received this support and especially at this time,” said Sikes-Kline, who represents the City of St. Augustine on the NFTPO. “This will fund an independent consultant with a fresh set of eyes to look at transportation to and through our city, and then evaluate what we have and speculate on what we might have. It’s a great opportunity, and one we could not afford without the TPO’s assistance.”
The NFTPO pointed out that the millions of visitors who access downtown each year do so via three “constrained roadways,” being King St., San Marco Ave., and the Bridge of Lions adding “Getting visitors into and out of the downtown historic district is challenging.” The NFTPO further identifies the city’s anticipated increase in visitors because of the current multi-year 450th Commemoration, a point emphasized by Commissioner Sikes-Kline.
“The TPO recognized that the 450th Commemoration will impact all types of traffic that moves through our historic districts including motorized, non-motorized and pedestrian traffic. This study will identify what might be done to meet those unique needs,” said Sikes-Kline. “Success with this funding has two parts: because the city has a representative on the TPO, we were aware of the opportunity, and the request was filed because of the work of the city’s Planning and Building Department under Mark Knight’s direction.”
“This is a big deal,” said City Manager John Regan. “Securing funds for a study like this is the necessary first step towards any broad based, long-term changes that will improve traffic in St. Augustine. We should thank Commissioner Sikes-Kline and Planning and Building Director Mark Knight for their diligent pursuit of this support. The payoff for the entire community will be big.”
For more information on the work of the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization, visit www.northfloridatpo.com. For more information on this grant, call the Planning and Building Department at 904.825.1065.
Source: Paul Williamson, City of St. Augustine Department of Public Affairs