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Destin tackles the issue of parking and traffic in Harbor District

Welcome to Destin, Florida
Welcome to Destin, Florida

PARKING & TRAFFIC: Last week the City of Destin discussed the ongoing issue of parking and traffic in the Harbor District.

The big topic was the Multi-Modal Transportation District that was established in the early 2000s as a means to encourage NOT using your vehicle has a means to get around Destin.

“It is a district that was created in the early 2000s that was intended to deal with Destin’s existing and long-term growth problems attendant to parking and attendant to traffic,” explained Parker Destin.

“The idea would be that this district would approve growth so long as that it had enhanced multimodal use, meaning non-personal vehicular use of infrastructure in the South Harbor. Meaning you come by trolley, you come by a foot, you come by bike instead of using your car and in exchange, growth would be approved so long as those enhancements were brought in.”

According to Parker, it’s now been 20 years later and Destin still has lots of parking deficits in the Harbor to the tune of about 1,800 parking spaces short.

“We don’t have parking garages, we don’t have trolleys and some of the highest critics and staunchest critics of the districts say that the district was mostly just created to exist in our imagination and on paper so that city officials could approve growth while giving at least lip service to the idea that the long-term infrastructure problems were being addressed,” continued Parker.

The city council is now back to dealing with the multimodal district and dealing with what they should do long-term on improving parking and infrastructure, and whether or not they should pursue parking garages.

“Critics on a proponent say that parking garages are needed so that people have somewhere to park to visit the South Harbor,” said Parker. “Critics are saying that the parking garages are equivalent to socialized parking because if you have growth of private property on the South Harbor, they should be the one providing their own parking rather than offshoring that onto the taxpayers. That debate continues and the council is delving into it over the next series of meetings on dealing with how they’re actually going to fund parking garages, if they even should.”

Click the video link above to watch or listen.

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