Port Authority Chief Offers Parking Tips to St. John Festival Fans

Construction of a double decker parking facility at Red Hook got a late start in November, but Port Authority David Mapp says work should be completed by January. Photo by Judi Shimel.

RED HOOK – With the opening of St. John Festival Village set for Wednesday, officials at the Port Authority are offering tips on how and where to park in Red Hook for those traveling from St. Thomas.

VIPA Executive Director David Mapp issued an advisory last week as work continues on a double decker parking facility near the Urman Fredericks Ferry Terminal.

Work on the parking facility began in November. Commuter parking is not allowed at Fredericks Terminal during the construction, officials said. The ferry terminal and barge ramp remain open and fully operational.

Mapp reminded the public that the Port Authority operates a paid parking lot in Estate Nazareth, adjacent to the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School field.

“The fee to park at VIPA’s temporary lot is $1 per hour,” said Port Authority spokesperson Monife Braithwaite. “Parking over four hours are charged the daily rate of $6. Paid shuttle service to the ferry terminal is provided by East End Taxi until 11 pm, at a cost of $1 per trip.”

The opening ceremony for Festival Village is set to begin at 7 pm. This year’s honoree is former Senator-At-Large Robert O’Connor, Jr.

Officials with the St. John Festival and Cultural Organization also wish to remind those who wish to join the fete that identification checks by Customs officials will occur at random. Packing a photo ID before leaving home is recommended.

When it is completed the parking facility outside the ferry terminal is expected to accommodate more motorists. Drainage features are being built in, Braithwaite said, and extra spaces are being provided to accommodate disabled drivers.

The VIPA director said completion of the parking garage is now expected by January 2018.

Mapp apologized for any inconveniences caused and asks for the public’s patience as the Port Authority works to improve its port facilities. He also asks the public to exercise caution when traversing near the construction site.