Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

County to Consider More Parking Bans; Official Cites Safety, Development Code

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

County to Consider More Parking Bans; Official Cites Safety, Development Code

Article excerpt

Byline: Lisa Woods, Shorelines staff writer

The Ponte Vedra Zoning and Adjustment Board wants to ban roadside parking on some major roads in Ponte Vedra Beach and Palm Valley.

The roads -- Corona Road, Palm Valley Road, Ponte Vedra Boulevard, Roscoe Boulevard and Mickler Road -- would add to the number of parking bans already imposed in the county.

St. Johns County Planner Danielle Mayoros said the board proposed the ordinance changes because it wanted to be in sync with the county Land Development Code, in which parking bans on similar roads are on the books.

"They are just double confirming and attempting to merit those rules that are listed in the land development code," Mayoros said. "When the land development code changed, they had to change some of the ordinances so that they agreed."

The idea will go before the County Commission for three public hearings; the first one will be at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the County Auditorium in St. Augustine.

Joe Stephenson, county director of public works, said there are ways to make parking safe on roads that allow higher speeds and are heavily traveled, but there are benefits to prohibiting parking on the shoulder.

"This is not something that is decidable on the basis of pure rationale," Stephenson said. "This is another one of those policy decisions."

Stephenson said roadside parking sometimes causes physical damage to the road or the shoulder, which can cause an elevation difference that makes roads less safe.

He also said that parallel parking can cause a sight distance problem: If someone parks too close to an intersection, often residents of nearby homes cannot see oncoming traffic when entering the roadway.

Currently, county ordinance prohibits parking within eight feet of an intersection, on a crosswalk, on a public sidewalk, within 6 feet of a fire hydrant, in front of the entrance to theaters, churches or hotels, in front of a driveway, on any bridge, runway to the beach or at any place where signs prohibit it. …

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