Letter To The Editor: Sidewalk and parking education for beginners

This letter is response to the sidewalk parking issues on Marco.

After reading all the recent interviews, columns and comments pertaining to the issues, there was very little mentioned in any of them about all the sidewalk parking laws and ordinances that exist. Then listing to the comments made at the Oct. 5 City Council meeting on this issue, made by councilman and public speakers, it was made very clear that the majority of them have no idea about all the laws that prohibit sidewalk parking.

This is a 24/7 out of control sidewalk parking situation on Marco Island, it is nothing new, it’s been going on the entire 20 years I’ve lived here and gets worse every year. (I live here 365 days a year).

My interest in this situation and comments are based on first hand life experiences, common sense, real facts and the law.

I’m not writing this letter to offend friends, neighbors and council nor am I trying to upset anyone. But I’m tired of being made to feel like a second class citizen, you Islanders don’t walk your dogs in the street to poop, well I’m not going to be forced in the streets anymore to push my wheelchair, because of inconsiderate narrow minded individuals who think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with parking automobiles, motorcycles, etc. on and over our sidewalks.

According to Webster’s dictionary a sidewalk and a driveway are defined as:

Sidewalk: A Paved Walkway for pedestrians at the side of a street. Date 1739. Sometimes called a pavement defined as a: A paved surface: artificially covered surface of a public thoroughfare. Date 13th Century.

Driveway: A private road giving Access from a public way to a building on abutting grounds. Date 1871.

Therefore Webster’s definitions of theses two words when put together, with a little common sense and logic, in my opinion tell us that, to go into or out of a driveway, one must go over a public way and a sidewalk is a defined as a paved public walkway for pedestrians, who are the public. I hate to inform you all whether you like it or not there are laws that strictly prohibit the obstruction of public walk ways, by parking automobiles, motorcycles etc. on and over the sidewalks in any way shape or form, you will be violating theses laws.

I know it requires at least a PhD in information technology theses days to figure out that two plus two equals four. What I did not realize was how many people are unable to decipher the fact that you are not in your driveway until you have passed over a public walkway-sidewalk, notice I didn’t call it your sidewalk. If theses definitions are wrong, I guess Marco Island must have its own dictionary that I’m unaware of, if there is such a special dictionary would someone please send me one ASAP, I’ll pay for it. Once again I’m not trying to harass, insult, or make people feel stupid when it comes to this issue you people have already done enough of that on your own.

In reading the latest controversy written on this subject, I see that Islanders are now blaming Police Chief Carr saying he didn’t Educate Islanders enough on this sidewalk parking subject and Councilman Chuck Kiester tells Islanders not to blame the recent parking law crackdown on our police nor Code Enforcement officers. They were simply following orders given by City Council to get tough on violations of our already existing laws/ordinances.

It boggles my mind how anyone who is in possession of a legal drivers license can say they’ve never been educated on sidewalk parking laws and ordinances, when every drivers manual from every state in our nation has a section on where parking is not allowed!

Trust me on this one residents and City Council you do not have a leg to stand on if you try in any way shape or form to change the sidewalk parking laws.

Charles J. McKenna

Marco Island

© 2009 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 3

kosherdeli writes:

Here is a very important part of Charles J McKenna's 11/20 Letter to the Editor that was edited out for reasons unknown. It's a Must Read!
The Sidewalk Parking Laws / Ordinances listed below are abundant and sometimes even redundant depending on which ones you read.

Mrco Island:
Sidewalk Obstruction Policies Sections 22500(f) CVC AND 675(b) MPC Vehicles parked on Sidewalks constitute an Inconvenience for Pedestrians and a Hazard for People who are Blind or otherwise Visually Impaired.Sec. 50-37 Prohibited Parking (1) Stop, stand or park a vehicle, (c) On a sidewalk, bike path, or bike lane; if any portion of a vehicle obstructs or projects over the edge, of the sidewalk, bike path, or bike lane, the vehicle is in violation of this section, (e) On a crosswalk (a) In front of a public or private driveway

Collier County Parking Ordinance:
Article II-Chapter 130 Traffic & Vehicles Prohibitions & Restrictions Sec.130-66
Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the direction of a law enforcement officer or official traffic control device, no person shall (1) Stop, stand or park a vehicle: a. Upon a street or highway in such a manner or under such conditions as to obstruct the free movement of traffic; On a sidewalk, bike path, or bike lane; On a crosswalk

The 2009 Florida Statures:
Title XXIII Motor Vehicles / Chapter 316 State Uniform Traffic Control 316.1945 Stopping, standing or parking is prohibited in specified places: On a sidewalk: On a crosswalk: In front of a public or private driveway.

Florida Laws for Pedestrians and Drivers: [§316.130(3)].
Pedestrian Traveling Along a Street or Highway Where sidewalks are provided,
No Pedestrian Shall Unless Required by Other Circumstances,
Walk Along and Upon The Portion of a Roadway Paved For Vehicular Traffic!

41st President George H. Bush On July 26, 1990 signed a Monumental Bill into affect and referred to it as: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) This Act it sets Nationwide Precedents Requiring All United States Cities to make All Public Sidewalks Accessible,

The ADA ACT was created to Protect the Millions of Americans with Disabilities from situations exactly like this Island Sidewalk Parking Issue. The ADA Act has Drastically Changed and Improved the Quality of Life for Millions of Americans with Disabilities, giving us back our Freedom, Independence, Pride, Dignity and the Feeling of Self-Worth Again. Most likely one of your own family members or friends has benefited from the ADA Act as well?

Islanders unless you are prepared to Open Up Your Wallets and help the City of Marco Island Pay for the Exuberant Legal Costs the City will incur if the ADA gets involved in this Sidewalk Parking Matter, I suggest you all Learn How Park Properly!

JoeFubietze writes:

With all due respects, ADA? Big Deal! Like the city of Marco Island cares about any law! Guess you missed the entire boat anchoring issue. The council doesn't care about the law and legal costs. They just want whatever they want.

And, regarding the fact that kosherdeli is wheelchair bound, there does stand the possibility that the city wants to change the parking rules regarding sidewalks specifically because they don't want those that are not totally fit to be visible on the sidewalks. Sound silly? I remember when you would see many of the people that work in the service industries, etc. (read less affluent) fishing from under the many small bridges on the island. Now it is illegal. That ordinance only impacted the minorities that deserve to enjoy this low cost past-time. You can be Caucasian and never have to worry about being hassled for fishing in these spots. But be Hispanic and you need to be hidden from public view, lest it remind these elitists that they exist. The ordinance is not selective, but the authorities are.

kosherdeli writes:

JoeFubietez I certainly understand your views and perspectives on my letter and I agree with what I think is your frustration. However if we don't start too Stand Up and Fight for Our Rights we might as well move to North Korea or Cuba.
I personally know what it is to Fight a Battle and Win. I fought for my Life 23yrs ago against all odds and Won! It was an Injury from a screw up that I Battled, it required a combine stay of 372 in the Hospital and Rehab but I did it and I’m still here. Therefore let it be known as of 11/26/2009 this Wheelchair User is ready to Battle Once Again, after winning the Battle for my Life this Sidewalk Parking Battle will be simply a Walk in the Park. Trust me the ADA doesn’t play games you will see!

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