ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Starting in this weekend, parking enforcement will be extended to Sunday mornings and illegally parked vehicles will be ticketed, the city of St. Augustine said.
Parking will remain free, but the extended enforcement will include vehicles parked on yellow curbs, parked in spaces reserved for commercial vehicles, taxis or sightseeing vehicles, vehicles parked facing the wrong direction or on sidewalks, and any other vehicles parked illegally, city officials said.
Parking in St. Augustine's historic district can be a "struggle," Flagler College student Will Pennington said Friday.
Jim Painter, who lives in St. Augustine, added that traffic is, "Highly congested. Out of control."
On Sundays, it gets even worse as there are over a dozen churches in the heart of downtown St. Augustine.
"The reality is that's when the heaviest traffic of tourism is in the city," Painter told News4Jax. "So it's the perfect storm."
Not only are parking spots usually filled before the church bell rings, parking attendants said, it's typical to see cars parked illegally, causing a safety issue.
"What happens is you'll get a car that parks in the yellow curb and people just have difficulty looking for traffic, and that's how we get these minor fendor benders," said parking attendant Chris Miler.
Currently, illegally parked vehicles have not been ticketed until Sunday afternoon. But city officials said the change is needed to ensure access by businesses that depend on reserved spaces to operate or to receive deliveries.
That's why St. Augustine parking attendants will be out all day Sunday, looking for violators and issuing them a $35 fine.
It may seem like common sense to park legally. But according to the city's Parking Division, up to 30 tickets are issued each Sunday.
Miller offered a suggestion for drivers heading to St. Augustine on Sunday.
"Just get here early to try and find a spot," Miller said. "Of course, we've also got the parking garage, which is not that far from downtown and there's always spots available at the parking garage."
That garage is located on Cordova Street, which is about a five to 10 minute walk away.
Warnings were issued through the end of October and ticketing will Sunday.
Anyone with questions can call 904-825-1090.
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