It happened again: Car rams into Atlantic Beach storefront
There have been 3 collisions to AshleGryre storefront in last 4 years
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – It happened again.
That's the reaction from many after another collision to an Atlantic Beach retail store.
Early Monday was the third time in four years that a vehicle has rammed into the storefront of AshleGryre, which is located where northbound Third Street meets Atlantic Boulevard.
News4Jax was told a driver collided with the store's doorway about 12:30 a.m., pulled away, sideswiped some cars and was eventually stopped on Atlantic Boulevard.
AshleGryre owner Robin Spence invited News4Jax into her store Monday night. She said she's frustrated it keeps happening and that she hopes something will change in the parking lot to prevent it.
Traffic heading north on Third Street can come straight into the parking lot. Although most traffic turns left, some traffic comes in off Atlantic Boulevard.
Spence said she hopes palm trees in the parking lot can be reconfigured so they create a barrier for traffic coming into the parking lot.
Atlantic Beach Mayor Ellen Glasser weighed in.
"I spent a little time on this today. I'll talk to the owner. I'll talk to folks at the city just to make sure that we do whatever we can to, sort of, harden that area in front of the store so that it's not quite so exposed," Glasser told News4Jax on Monday.
The mayor said she’s grateful no one was injured, but said it’s the obligation of city leadership to try and figure out a way to stop the collisions.
For Spence, she’s just trying to stay open as the coming Easter weekend is huge for her clothing store. When the last collision happened in July, she lost months of business. She said she still hasn't recovered a portion of insurance money from that last claim.
"I want to say that, when I went to the store today, there were people shopping. And yes, the front door is closed, but the back door is open. They are open for business, and I really encourage people to visit them and show their support by going to shop there," Glasser said. "Let's keep that business going and support small businesses in Atlantic Beach."
News4Jax also spoke by phone on Monday with the city’s Planning and Community Development director.
The planning director for Atlantic Beach said the parking lot is a private parcel and, at this point, the city can't take action to chance the lot design. But, the director added, the lot owner can propose a change and then work with the city on redevelopment.
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