Group offers ideas to improve Ponte Vedra Beach traffic

Intersection changes, road widening among solutions for St. Johns County

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – As new development causes congestion on roads in Ponte Vedra Beach, residents are asking if something can be done to fix the problems.

St. Johns County residents got a chance to look at potential solutions Tuesday, including some that involve major changes.

The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization held a public meeting Tuesday night at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. The meeting was open to anyone, not just local residents.

Residents arriving for the meeting said they were anxious to see the proposed changes and share their opinions.

A two-year traffic study by the North Florida TPO was done at the intersection of A1A at Solana Road down to Mickler Road to see what can be done to improve traffic.

The group shared its recommendations, including converting a roundabout that connects Nocatee to Mickler and Palm Valley roads into a signaled intersection.

Mike Wicks and his family live just a few hundred feet away from the Mickler roundabout.

'Whether the first round of recommendations are the ones that are actually going to happen remains to be seen, because I think they're going to get a lot of push back on a couple different things that they're proposing,” Wicks said.

The group also suggests widening Palm Valley Road near the Sawmill Lakes subdivision and widening Mickler to the north, which would encourage drivers to skip the highly residential part of Palm Valley Road.

But the big talker Tuesday was expected to be the suggestion to widen parts of A1A to six lanes.

The planning organization took the frequency of accidents into account when suggesting the changes, which would no doubt change the look of Ponte Vedra Beach.

"That's Ponte Vedra's Main Street, you know, that's the main thoroughfare through Ponte Vedra Beach and for it not to look like it looks today, I think there will be a lot of concern in terms of what it's going to look and how it's going to affect the quality of life for people who live here,” Wicks said.

For people who have to sit in that traffic every day, six lanes might sound like a great idea.

Of course, these are only recommendations. The study came about because a group of concerned citizens wanted to start looking at solutions.

Currently, there is no funding for the projects, which are estimated to cost about $36 million.

If the public wants the projects to happen, they will have to champion the projects to the county commissioners to get them included in the budget.

To see all the recommendations from the North Florida TPO, click here.

About the Authors: