Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mickler's Parking Woes Vex Residents; but a County Commissioner Says He Has a Plan and It Involves Satellite Parking

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mickler's Parking Woes Vex Residents; but a County Commissioner Says He Has a Plan and It Involves Satellite Parking

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRISTINA ABEL

PONTE VEDRA BEACH - As some residents express concerns about overcrowding and other conditions at the Mickler's Landing beach access, a county commissioner is working on a plan to use buses and satellite lots to resolve beach parking problems.

Especially during the heat of the summer, cars quickly stack up in the 260 available parking spaces at Mickler's, Ponte Vedra Beach's only beach access point with public parking.

Some people are concerned that future residents of the evolving massive Nocatee development several miles inland won't have any place nearby to get to the beach.

St. Johns County Commissioner Tom Manuel, who represents Ponte Vedra Beach, said beach access there is a problem in part because on most nice days, the parking lot at Mickler's is overflowing.

Manuel said he's working on several proposals to help deal with the issues of beach access and the lack of parking to get to it in Ponte Vedra Beach.

"This is a problem that needs to be addressed, not swept under the rug," Manuel said.

His main idea is to use parking lots in other parts of Ponte Vedra Beach, such as at the Cornerstone church property on Florida A1A. The county recently purchased the property, which is the site of the New Beginnings Baptist Church, to build a community center.

Manuel said he also plans to talk with Tournament Players Club officials about using their parking lot off County Road 210 for parking during the off season.

He said he would work with the Sunshine Bus Company, which provides residents with rides throughout the county, to shuttle beachgoers back and forth.

Micky Roberts of Ponte Vedra Beach, who uses the Mickler's access regularly, said she's worried about it getting even more overcrowded.

"We don't even have what we need now," Roberts said. "Are they going to have a trolley or shuttle, because there's never going to be any more parking."

The issue of a lack of beach parking has been debated for decades in Ponte Vedra Beach. It came up during a court case last year after the First Coast chapter of the Surfrider Foundation sued St. …

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