City clarifies confusion over residential access passes

Masters 2016 residential access passes allow residents to get into their neighborhood.
Masters 2016 residential access passes allow residents to get into their neighborhood.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Berckmans Road turns into a one way during the week from 4 to 9 pm. And if you live in one of the surrounding neighborhoods, you’ll need a residential access pass to get home. Some resident in the area say they never got one.

Harriet Myers lives at the corner of Margate Drive and Margate Circle, right off of Berckmans Road. It’s Masters Monday and she still has not received a residential access pass.

“I did not get one, this is the second time I have not gotten one,” says Myers.

The passes allow residents to get in and out of their neighborhood during high traffic times. Myer’s says she’s had to go her neighbor to get one.

“I’m concerned that I could get stuck outside the neighborhood and couldn’t get back in,” says Myers.

They city’s traffic engineering department initially said residents couldn’t get home without one, but now they say if you don’t have a pass, deputies will still let you get through to the neighborhood.

“The pass does help us expedite the residents getting to their house, but if a situation occurs and they lost it or they didn’t receive one, we’re not holding anybody from going in. All they need to do is flag an officer down, tell them that they live there and we’ll get them to their house as quick as we can,” says Cpl. Larry Bracken with the Richmond Co. Sheriff’s Office.

The city also says it mailed out more than 300 passes but the construction of the new Berkmans Road, among other factors could be why some residents didn’t receive the passes.

“We went by what the property owner listed on the residential areas at that time and we go record that we have. Some people are out of state or out of town owners and they rent the houses out, they’re not even living there,” says Glenn Bollinger, manager of Augusta’s Traffic Engineering.

The city says the reason for the passes is to prevent out-of-towners from taking shortcuts and cutting through the neighborhoods. They’ve also put up temporary no parking signs to keep the roads open in the case of an emergency.

“For this week its an official no parking area and the sheriff’s department said that if people are violating that, it’s a regulatory and enforceable law.”

Although you can still get home without one, if you live in those surrounding neighbors of Berckmans Road you can pick one up the traffic engineering office on Telfair Street.

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