Improving South Walton parking and traffic flow is a priorty

SOUTH WALTON, Fla. (WJHG/WECP)- South Walton is experiencing significant growth and some growing pains. The county is working on relieving congestion but it's a long process.

From Destin Commons, to Rosemary Beach, for a lot of people South Walton is always the place to be.

"A lot of our visitors to the beach are what we call our day visitors. They come down from north Walton County, lower Alabama, southwest Georgia," says Director of Beach Operation Brian Kellenberger.

But all those visitors can mean parking problems.

"People just parking on the side of the road and that gets in the way when it's only two lanes. It's very difficult to travel through," says Grayton Corner's General Manager Sabrina Irby.

"Well during the summer times and stuff like that you have a lot of people coming down to the beach and I feel that it's hard to get down to the beach with some of the accesses, there's not enough public parking around here so," Brandon Montalto said.

But Kellenberger says the county is making "an effort to make the beaches experience better for all of our visitors we have been looking at ways to resolve the parking and congestion on 30-A and Scenic Gulf Drive."

A recent study determined where parking spaces would be most effective along 30A.

"From that study, we took five locations and we're adding approximately 250 parking spaces on the right of way, so we did not have to acquire any additional properties," Kellenberger said.

Also in the plans, a trolley system that would relieve congestion by allowing people to park in one area and take the trolley everywhere they needed to go.

"The centralized parking would offer an area to first give them, an area to park and then transport them east and west through our unique communities along 30A," Kellenberger said.

"I think it's going to be a great thing for the community. You know, people not parking in other people's yards and stuff like that. Extra parking will bring extra people, and more money," says Montalto.

The trolley system is still in the planning stages. The land for more parking is also in the process of being acquired by the county.