Walking: Is it safe in Historic St. Andrews?

Many in St. Andrews say they've had one too many close calls crossing the street or walking down the sidewalks of Beck Avenue. So now, business owners are banding together to strengthen the safety of walking from shop to shop. (WJHG/WECP)
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ST. ANDREWS, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Part of Historic St. Andrews charm comes from walking around the area.

"St. Andrews is walkable but it's not the most walkable it could be," said the owner of Sunjammers in St. Andrews, Brad Stephens.

Stephens says every day he sees close calls when pedestrians stroll down the street.

"You have cars go flying by on an hourly basis, they pass a double yellow line on Beck Avenue routinely," said Stephens.

So now business owners and concerned citizens are making their voices heard. More than 800 people have signed an online petition for change.

"If we dropped the speed limit a little, made a little bit wider sidewalks, better crosswalks, people are gonna want to walk a little more and in turn, they're gonna go from your restaurants and into my store and it's a win-win for everybody," said Stephens.

Members with the Historic St. Andrews Waterfront Partnership say they're working with the city and Florida Department of Transportation to bring that win-win to reality.

"We continue to meet with them and we kind of have to wait for their traffic studies to be completed before we can go further with it," said the President of the Historic St. Andrews Waterfront Partnership, Robbie Fehrenbach.

The studies should be complete within the next month.

Board members with the Waterfront Partnership, say making St. Andrews pedestrian-friendly now, is especially important as they're planning more activities for the future.

"The Partnership Board is adding new events, Salty Dog Day, and St. Patrick's Day, of course, but then coming up in the fall we're hoping to have an arts and crafts event in September and then this Halloween Fun Day," said Historic St. Andrews Waterfront Partnership Board Member, Tracey Smith.

"To do that safely, we want a safer Main Street, which is what Beck Avenue essentially is for St. Andrews," said Fehrenbach.

If you're interested in helping the cause, there's still time to sign the petition. Click here to sign the online version.

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