More construction will begin in the heart of Cruz Bay this summer, according to Keith Richards, the person in charge of capital projects for the government, he told a town meeting this week groundbreaking for a two story garage, across from the barge dock, will start in a few months. At a community meeting at the Boulon Center, he explained the garage will hold 82 cars and include retail space for a many as 10 merchants, St. John Source reported. Funding for the $3 million project will come from the territory’s St. John Capital Improvement Fund and government bonds.
In other matters, one resident complained that plans for a planned 45-minute limit on parking across from the Post Office is not long enough. Mary Blazine said it takes at least two hours to run errands and have lunch, the Source reported. But island administrator Julien Harley said that if the limit was two hours, people would just stay for four.
3 thoughts on “Summer start for Cruz Bay garage”
Placing a parking garage in the prime site accross from the dock is a huge mistake. Expect increased crime, loitering, congestion and other detrimental effects. And why is the government providing retail space for selected businesses? What are the selection criteria for getting those retail spots? How do they justify even including retail spaces when they need to maximize parking spaces? Its ludicrous, any new retail spaces are simply going to require most if not all of the planned new parking spaces! Seems like certain businesses are just going to get free parking for what are likely to be wrongfully subsidized commercial leases. I’m only a real estate developer, but in my opinion the site should have been the centerpiece of a planned downtown improvement district that includes a nice hotel, upscale retail boutiques, entertainment and also resident-oriented services, etc. There should be a master plan implemented covering subjects such as sidewalks, fences, setbacks, architectural standards, landscaping, easements, appropriate signage, and yes…parking, amongst much, much more. And all of this should be done in the open with a public process and competitive bid. This current plan just does not pass the sniff test.
Just got back stateside from an annual visit to STJ. I spent a fair amount of time walking around town with my mom who has mobility problems. It occurred to me, too, that it is probably time for some serious looks into urban planning issues. Parking is an obvious problem, but town can be a downright scary place to walk, particularly for those who are not young and agile. Everyone can point fingers of blame for the problems, but the fact is that one of the prices of economic growth is a responsibility to contain and direct real estate development and infrastructure improvements. Piecemeal fixes tend to look and act, well, piecemeal.
Whether or not we like to admit it, Cruz Bay is not the same sleepy little port it was 20 years ago. Its growing pains should be addressed in a comprehensive and professional manner, but it will take the cooperation of all the parties involved – landowners, government, civic groups – which is never easy.
Everyone knows that parking is a problem. It seems that over the past few years parking problems have intensified. I agree with Rob though, this spot is not a good choice for a parking garage. It seems like a better idea to get the cars out of the already very congested downtown area. Lets face it, most people could do with a little exercise anyhow.
It makes more sense to me to, yes, take away some of those spots from the taxi drivers, and yes, prohibit all day parking in the lot across from the PO, but we should give a few more to those people who don’t get around so well. There are so few handicap parking spaces on this island, and even those few are usually filled with someone who doesn’t have a right to be there. I really hate to admit how we are not very helpful or considerate of people with physical limitations here on St. John.
While I’m at it, I just have to say that I wish there were more speed bumps on the island. It just enrages me that people are still driving around at such high speeds when just a couple of months ago a little boy lost his life while crossing the street.