Coffee shop’s popularity creates headaches for nearby residents

Coffee shop’s popularity creates headaches for nearby residents
This vehicle is parked in the turn lane in front of Bold Bean while the driver ran in for coffee.

San Marco Place is a little street directly behind Southside Baptist Church with about a dozen houses. A street you pass without noticing it unless you’re looking for a cut-through from Hendricks Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard – or a place to park.

But residents say traffic jams caused by on-street parking have become a problem, and they are asking the City of Jacksonville to make it a one-way street.

On-street parking hasn’t been that big of an issue, except for the occasional big event in San Marco Square, but since Bold Bean Coffee Roasters opened in 2016 on Hendricks Avenue cars routinely park on both sides of the two-lane street, sometimes making it almost impassable, said Bruce Klimek, a resident on San Marco Place

Parking is not allowed on the south side of the street, but motorists routinely ignore it.

“With cars parked along the street, cars can’t pass each other. I’ve seen people get into screaming matches because one of them is going to have to back up,” Klimek said.

When the popular coffee shop first opened, customers were allowed to park at Southside Baptist’s lot. But after Bold Bean began serving alcohol, the church withdrew its permission, citing concerns over the safety of potentially inebriated customers crossing the street, and the church’s liability if they were injured.

Bold Bean’s next door neighbor, the law firm of Harris Guidi Rosner P.A., objected to customers parking in its lot. Bold Bean erected signs asking customers not to use the law firm’s lot.

Instead, customers and employees park on San Marco Place, creating all kinds of issues for the residents, Klimek said. They block driveways, knock over trash cans, drive on lawns, damage sprinkler systems. And there is no space for homeowners to park in front of their houses.

Klimek said he has made his peace with Bold Bean’s employees who park in front of his house. He’s gotten to know them and explained the issues and they have been cooperative about respecting his property.

But parking is so bad in the area, Klimek said that he routinely sees people stop in the turn lane on Hendricks and run into Bold Bean.

Jay Burnett, owner of Bold Bean, declined to comment.

Several residents now park their cars at the end of their driveways to stop people from using their driveway to turn around.

Making the street one way will not solve the parking problem, Klimek said, but it might relieve the traffic congestion that it causes.

By Lilla Ross
Resident Community News

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