HIGH SPRINGS ‒ Changes are in store for people driving and parking in downtown High Springs. The High Springs City Commission earlier this summer approved an ordinance that restricts the use of vehicles of more than three axels from traveling on Northwest 186th Avenue (formerly known as U.S. Highway 27 Alternate). And concerns over large vehicles parking in the downtown area prompted changes to parking in that area in an effort to relieve traffic congestion, especially along Main Street.
“The City has been working on various plans to deal with the traffic and congestion in our downtown roads,” said High Springs Public Information Officer Kevin Mangan. “We are initiating a plan to limit parking to compact car parking only on High Springs Main Street between US Highway 27 and Northwest 185th Avenue.”
Main Street was designed over 100 years ago as a quiet two-lane road with parking places designed for smaller cars than many of the current SUVs and pickup trucks. Today, High Springs’ burgeoning downtown business district, along with steady truck traffic along Main Street, creates congestion and potentially unsafe conditions. The street was not designed for the current traffic load and cannot be expanded without removing all parking and extensive street work, not a viable option according to the City of High Springs.
The best solution at least cost is to limit what vehicle lengths can park on Main Street to help limit obstructions and the flow of traffic. City officials say the new restrictions will help alleviate traffic congestion and hazards, reduce bumper overhang on roadways, ensure the maneuverability of emergency vehicles, and provide a proactive approach to help reduce accidents.
The City is defining a “compact” car or vehicle between 100 and 109 cubic feet of interior space and between 161 and 187 inches in length and does not include trucks, vans, or large SUVs.
A compact car parking space will be a minimum of eight feet in width and 16 feet in length. Parking spaces are now visibly marked as “Compact Car” parking spaces with signage on both sides of the street.
“We are going to start with the signs and an information campaign to make people aware of the change,” said Mangan. “This will help with traffic flow and is just the first step in the City’s plan to work with the Department of Transportation to deal with the increasing traffic.”
The High Springs Police Department will be helping with an information campaign by putting flyers on vehicles that are too big for the spaces for a couple months to warn drivers of the new rules.
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