TDC mobility plan is creating concern for residents in Santa Rosa Beach

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WALTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — The Tourist Development Council has been working on a mobility plan to manage traffic congestion along Scenic Highway 30-A better, but this is causing residents concern.

“So what we really want to do is get them off of the road and stop them from parking illegally,” said TDC Director of Communications David Demarest.

Demarest said they are looking to purchase five parcels of land. Two of those are located near the new Dune Allen beach access in Santa Rosa Beach.

“It would put a strain on the infrastructure,” said resident Jacque Fudge who has done her research on the topic for years. “This is a residential neighborhood; it wasn’t designed to be a beach mobility hub.”

Many residents like Fudge do not see why their residential community needs to be a hub.

“It would be more traffic and an inconvenience for the people on the cart path; it’s also a bus stop,” said newer Santa Rosa Beach resident Ed Sweet. “So the buses would be dropping off kids, and there would be a parking lot there.”

Sweet said adding more parking welcomes safety concerns for all residents.

“It’s not really broken, why are they trying to fix it?” he said.

Sweet said in areas like Seaside and Seagrove he can see where this mobility plan would be useful.

At this time, Demarest said nothing is set in stone yet.

“Anytime we buy property, it is a very long process, so it all happens in public meetings,” said Demarest.

The Walton Commissioners have already voted on this mobility plan once before, 18 months ago, and three board members turned it down. However, now that it is being brought up again, the commission asked for more information from the TDC at Tuesday’s meeting. The TDC will bring that information to the next regularly scheduled board meeting.

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