Avoiding gridlock during St. Augustine festival

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Many are saying traffic will be as nightmare this weekend in St. Augustine as thousands make their way into the city to attend the Gentleman of the Road tour.

The sold-out show is expected to bring in at least 25,000 fans of Mumford and Sons and a dozen of other national music acts, so the city is doing everything they can to get people keep cars out of downtown.

To make shuttle service as convenient as possible, there will be 10 shuttle stops -- everywhere from World Golf Village to Vilano, St. Augustine and Crescent beaches, and the intersection of State Road 16 and Interstate 95 and the primary satellite parking lot at the St. Augustine airport.

The city has lined up about 60 charter buses that will operate from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.  School buses will be added to the routes at night, bringing the total to 90 shuttles. For more information on the shuttle system, visit staugustine-450.com.

City leaders are encouraging people will bike to the festival as well.  There will be bike racks all over the city, with a lot concentrated at Francis Field.

City Comptroller Mark Litzinger wants to remind everyone that bikers and pedestrians will be on every corner all weekend.

"Be very careful," Litzinger said. "We're doing all we can to make it as pedestrian friendly and bike friendly within our community as possible. That's the primary reason we will close the streets down to people coming in at 8 o'clock."

St. Augustine Fire Department Chief Mike Arnold also hopes everyone will stay safe this weekend, but says if anyone is in need of medical attention, his staff will be throughout the city and a medical tent will be on the north side of Francis Field.

"Hopefully anyone who has medical issues will come to that tent," Arnold said. "We'll) treat them there and try to determine whether they need to be transported or not.

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