Words Matter

It wasn’t too long ago that these signs went up on Ponte Vedra Boulevard.

No Parking Read it carefully.  Does anything seem out of place?

Parking on Ponte Vedra Boulevard, which is the road closest to the ocean in Northern St. Johns County, is a real sore spot with both the residents, and those wanting to go to the beach.  As you can well imagine, the street is lined on the east side by multi-million dollar ocean front homes.  To the west, the residences are somewhat more moderately priced houses, but still beyond the means of most of us.  It is a very exclusive enclave.

There are multiple public beach access points along Ponte Vedra Boulevard.  Anyone can go to the beach … but there is no where to park.  Not “almost no where”.  There’s NO WHERE that any person who doesn’t live along the street to park … unless you’re lucky enough to know someone who owns one of the houses close to the beach.  And, as the Bard says, therein lies the rub.

It seems the county gave a strip of very valuable property that HAD been designated for parking to the various homeowners along the street.  It was a big controversy.  The end result is that it’s become a pretty exclusive stretch of beach.

Of course, enforcement is pretty strict.  And that’s where the sign comes in.

Taken literally, the sign says there are no parking regulations in effect on Ponte Vedra Boulevard.  That’s what the sign says.  Go ahead, park where ever you want.  There are no parking regulations in effect.  Of course, as in most things, the large print giveth and the small print taketh away.  You’ll have to click on the photo above to read the fine print, which is pretty clear.  “Don’t park on our street”.  Nobody but residents need apply, unless you’re driving a delivery van.

Now, I can understand both sides of the argument.  It’s a narrow street.  I ride my bike there pretty regularly, and it can be a little hairy sometimes.  I’m sure parked cars along the street would just make it more dangerous.  And, though I’VE never lived ON the beach, Andie did live just across the street from the beach.  She said there was more than one morning when her dad had to have a car towed from the driveway to be able to go to work in the morning.  People threw trash in their yard, felt free to use their garden hose to wash the sand off their feet and other parts of their bodies.  And got angry when they came back and found their cars towed.  But, there is also an argument that the beach belongs to everyone.  The state of Florida says so.  And there is an argument to be made that the public access points are, well, pointless without a place to park.  Unless you’re like me and willing to ride a bike or can walk to the beach access, you’re not going to the beach in Ponte Vedra.  So yes, I can understand both sides of the argument.

My point is simply this.  The sign is clearly contradictory.  It should either read “No Parking” regulations in effect … or Parking Regulations in effect … but the way it is, an argument could be made that St. Johns County is announcing to the world that there are no parking regulations in effect on Ponte Vedra Boulevard. 

Am I going to be the guy that puts it to the test? 

Not so much.



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Filed under Beach Access, Parking Restrictions, Ponte Vedra Beach, Thoughts

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