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HIGH SPRINGS – The City of High Springs is making changes to traffic and parking in downtown High Springs in an effort to improve safety in the area.

Recently, the High Springs City Commission 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).

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is providing signs to the City to notify truck drivers of the change. Once the signs have been installed, trucks will travel to the intersection of U.S. Highway 441 to access Main Street.

The High Springs Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board voted to approve an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station in front of Extreme Exposure at 18481 Main Street. The project was initiated by Extreme Exposure and High Springs is providing access to the right of way, designating one designated spot for EV parking only and paying for a concrete pad. The cost is estimated at about $1,000. All other costs will be paid by Extreme Exposure and the City will benefit from any revenue received.

Although only one official charging station parking area will be designated, the equipment being installed will accommodate two cars charging side-by-side. The only difference will be that the second parking spot will not be designated exclusively for electric car charging. The Board did not want to restrict two parking areas in the downtown area until they saw frequency and usage of the second charging station.

The CRA Board also approved pedestrian crosswalk changes on Main Street at the intersection of Northwest 185th Road. New button-activated pedestrian crossing signs will be installed to alert drivers that a person is in the crosswalk area to help provide increased safety to those attempting to cross the street. This project has been approved by FDOT and the signs are being created. High Springs will install the signs at a projected cost of some $4,000. Mayor Byran Williams suggested a sign be placed in advance of the intersection to alert drivers that they may need to stop.

Another safety concern has been the need to limit long vehicles, especially those with kayaks and boats extending out into the roadway in the downtown area. An education campaign is beginning that will alert drivers with trucks and large vehicles that downtown parking is being restricted to compact vehicles. Larger vehicles will be required to drive to the parking areas near Railroad Avenue to park. High Springs Police officers will be visiting with business owners in the area to alert them to the change and will begin by issuing warning citations to violators. It is expected that new signage should be installed by mid to late July.

City staff members are testing out lighting behind City Hall that they believe will help make the downtown area safer at night. Feedback from the public will be appreciated.

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