Business owner opposes CRA plan to add medians on Front Beach Road

Panama City Beach

PANAMA CITY BEACH Fla. (WMBB) — A long-time Panama City Beach business owner is concerned about a proposal for traffic medians along Front Beach Road. 

The CRA improvement project is just in the design phases.

Mack Carter owns the landmark “Shuckums Oyster Bar and Restaurant” on Front Beach Road,

He’s upset with city plans to add medians in front of his business.

“People come here for the beautiful beaches and fresh seafood,” Carter said. “They don’t come here to see a pretty palm tree in the middle of the road.”

The plans call for grass medians down the center of Front Beach.

The city is also considering a lane for cyclists and trolleys. Designers say it will create better traffic flow for pedestrians. Carter said it will do just the opposite for traffic, especially for larger vehicles. 

“At the same time while they are waiting to make that turn now you’ve got all this traffic piling up behind them that’s now a problem,” Carter said.

He said this will create difficulties for people trying to turn into businesses and make U-turns. He said delivery trucks may have to take alternate routes because they will not be able to make a U-turn without going in the trolley lane. 

Carter said this project is just not necessary for the city and will cause more harm than good.”

“So now they have created a double danger,” Carter said.

Carter said he is thankful the council listened to what he had to say, but he hopes other businesses will speak out as well. 

As a result of Carter’s comments, City Council Member Geoff McConnell said they agreed to search for a solution that works best for everyone. 

“We are just going to have to be patient and get through that,” McConnell said. “I know it is going to be painful while we go through that process but at the end of it it’s going to be worth it. 

The city plans to bring in traffic experts to determine the best and safest outcome for this project and will revisit the issue at their August 26 meeting. 

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