*EDITOR’S NOTE: David Santa Ana, director of the Dept. of Parking and Transportation, has confirmed the new parking lot at Beulah Grove Baptist Church’s Vision Village will be available starting July 1. It will include space for around 65 vehicles. Santa Ana and his team are reworking shuttle routes to pick-up faculty, staff and students who choose to park in the new lot.
Faculty, staff and students who park in the neighborhood near Augusta University’s Health Sciences Campus will need to begin utilizing authorized parking lots or risk being fined.
The good news? Those lots are no more than a couple of blocks away.
The change comes as Augusta-Richmond County government officials institute a new residential parking pass program for families living in the neighborhood across the railroad tracks along R.A. Dent Blvd. The move will keep students, faculty and staff from clogging up roads in the community.
“Those neighbors have complained about people parking along the street blocking driveways, garbage cans and narrowing the amount of space for drivers to navigate the streets,” said David Santa Ana, director of the Dept. of Parking and Transportation at Augusta University.
According to John Ussery, assistant director for the county’s Traffic Engineering Dept., the parking pass program takes effect July 1. County workers will post signs in the neighborhood alerting students, faculty and staff to the change. Deputies with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office will start patrols and hand out warnings to violators from the first through the eighth. After that, violators face a fine.
“If you receive a fine, you’ll have the opportunity to plead your case in front of a county judge, not members of Augusta University’s Parking and Transportation Department,” Santa Ana said.
While the neighborhood streets will be off limits, Santa Ana said there are a number of spots available.
“We have room for people to park in the lots we rent from Antioch Baptist Church,” he said.
While some people may not want to pay for a parking permit, Santa Ana said the money is vital to the operation of his office.
“We don’t get any funding from Augusta University or Augusta University Health,” he said. “Our operational budget is made up solely of parking permit fees and parking fines.”
*According to Santa Ana, he has completed negotiations to secure more parking spots at the Beulah Grove Baptist Church Vision Village.
For a look at where you can park once the change takes effect, review the updated map below.