Sunday, December 02, 2018

GUEST COLUMN: Time to tackle Red Cox Road traffic morass. (St. Augustine Record)

Unsafe for St. Augustine pedestrians, bicyclists, rickshaw drivers or automobile and truck drivers, the intersection of State Route A1A, Old Quarry Road and Red Cox Drive is unsafe at any speed. It needs a traffic light and traffic calming devices. Now.

Kudos to Lighthouse Neighborhood Association (LHNA), Debbie Wicker, Carl Blow, John Depreter and Jim Tunstall for their concise definition of the problem at Red Cox Drive, Anastasia Blvd. and Anastasia Blvd (SR A1A). The City and FDOT will now proceed to solve the problem, thanks to LHNA, et al. helping provide a spinal and testicular implant. Past fatalities did not persuade the City or FDOT to do anything.

Our neighborhood associations and citizens deserve a friendly first floor liaison, as Cathy DuPont once provided in St. Augustine City Hall.

"Government is a customer service organization," as Mayor Nancy Shaver reminds us.

Our disgraced then-Mayor JOE BOLES booted the neighborhood council office from City Hall, replacing it with a seldom used Fabric Guild two-room suite for Mayor BOLES' mother, MAURINE BOLES, and her friends, including the wife of unfriendly Assistant General Services Director and Purchasing Director Timothy Fleming.

We need to put our best foot forward in City Hall and restore democratizing staff functions like the one once held by Cathy DuPont.

Every time I see the Fabric Guild's empty two room office, it reminds me of the empty heads of certain City Hall bureaucrats who need to reform or retire.  Now.

As JFK said during the Cuban Missile Crisis, "There's always some poor SOB who doesn't get the word."

GUEST COLUMN: Time to tackle Red Cox Road traffic morass

By Debbie Wicker / St. Augustine
Posted Dec 1, 2018 at 9:43 PM
On Oct. 29, there was yet another traffic-related death at the intersection of Red Cox Road, Old Quarry Road and Anastasia Boulevard. Over the course of the past five years there have been multiple fatalities in this immediate vicinity, along with numerous traffic accidents.

The Alligator Farm Zoological Park (St. Augustine’s second most popular tourist attraction), St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum (our town’s third most popular attraction), R.B. Hunt Elementary School, the R. B. Hunt Athletic Fields, Upchurch Park, Surf Station and the main entrance to Anastasia Island State Park are all located within a 500 yard radius of this intersection.

Meanwhile, Red Cox Road serves as the primary entrance and exit for R.B. Hunt school buses, its athletic field’s many users, the St. Augustine Lighthouse, Lighthouse Park and Lighthouse Boat Ramp patrons.

Adding to the volume and complexity of traffic, the St. Augustine Amphitheatre’s main entrance is approximately 400 yards south on Anastasia Boulevard. On any given day or night, attempting to navigate the confluence of traffic in this immediate area is — at the very least — an adventure steeped in chaos and risk.

Over the past three years the Lighthouse Park Neighborhood Association has worked with our city commissioners, senior management and local stakeholders to develop and provide traffic calming solutions in this exceedingly dangerous area. In working with the city on viable solutions, we have had the support of several proactive stakeholders. These include the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park and R. B. Hunt Elementary School. They have systematically provided sound ideas in our effort to enhance the safety of visitors, students and residents alike.

City leadership is aggressively pursuing traffic calming and enhanced safety measures in this exceedingly dangerous area. We sincerely appreciate and strongly support the city and fellow stakeholders on this decisive action. We most strongly encourage the state of Florida and other area stakeholders to join in this time-critical effort.

The time for us to act on this dangerous situation is now, before additional deaths and injuries occur due to inaction on our collective parts.

Wicker is president of the Lighthouse Park Neighborhood Association. Association members Carl Blow, John Depreter and Jim Tunstall co-signed the submission.

No comments: