Guest Commentary: Police chief addresses parking enforcement; common violations

Article Highlights

  • It is important to keep our sidewalks clear for our ever increasing pedestrian and bike traffic.
  • Yes, leniency has occurred in the past, but because of increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic on the Island safety has now become a real concern.
  • Handicapped parking is another complaint generator.

In February of 2009, a guest commentary by Marco Island Police Lt. Matt Goetz outlined Marco Island’s parking requirements/restrictions so that citizens would be aware of what the parking situation was throughout the Island, where parking could and could not occur and why.

Since that time the police department has slowly increased enforcement of the laws and ordinances that have been on the books for years. Yes, leniency has occurred in the past, but because of increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic on the Island safety has now become a real concern. Traffic, whether it is on a sidewalk or in the street, must have a flow that is unimpeded.

The most common of all of the parking violations is parking across a sidewalk. We get more complaints about this violation than all of the others combined. It is important to keep our sidewalks clear for our ever increasing pedestrian and bike traffic. This presents a problem to those of you who have a residence with a driveway. Even though the sidewalk makes up part of your driveway it is still a sidewalk that needs to remain clear for use. If you are in a predicament creative thinking might be the answer. Asking a seasonal resident for permission to park in their driveway, could benefit them and you by keeping criminals away. If your neighbor isn’t using their entire driveway, ask if you can park on part. Look around for a parking lot near your house that you could use, or maybe it is time to clean out the garage. While not always desirable, there are alternatives to your present situation.

Parking in the street is another violation that impedes traffic, causes safety concerns, and generates many complaints. Temporary parking to load or unload or to make a delivery can be tolerated if the time it takes is not excessive. Parking in the street without making any effort to get your vehicle off the street is not permissible. Some of the Island’s work trucks consider the street their private parking spot. While parking in the swale is prohibited between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m., please encourage delivery workers, or laborers to temporarily use the swale or driveway for parking while servicing your home. If visiting for any time at all, park in the swale or the driveway. The patrolling officers will look at that much more favorably when assessing the entire situation. This will also decrease the chances of a complaint being lodged against you.

Speaking of complaints, that is how most of our tickets are generated. If you are hindering someone else then you are in violation. Please keep that in mind and consider how you would feel if you were the one being inconvenienced.

Other important violations are parking:

- In front of a public or private driveway;

- Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant;

- Within 20 feet of an intersection or crosswalk;

- Within 30 feet of any flashing signal, stop sign or traffic control device located at the side of the roadway;

- On any city roadway, in other than designated parking lanes;

- Any place where official signs prohibit or restrict parking; and,

- In a swale between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. (even in front of your home).

Even if it is just for a second, parking in a fire lane is illegal. Do not park or stand in a fire lane.

Handicapped parking is another complaint generator. Handicapped parking spots are clearly marked with signs and painted stripes on the ground and are very easy to recognize. Please do not park in one of these spots unless you have the proper placard (displayed properly), sticker or license plate and you have the handicapped person in your vehicle. The fine for a violation of handicapped parking is very severe at $250.

Marco Island is growing steadily and as a result we are all experiencing “growing pains.” We must adapt with the changes that are occurring and sometimes that is not an easy pill to swallow. It doesn’t matter if you believe this community is residential, retirement, resort or orientated to new/growing families, we need to be able to work and live together and obey our laws and ordinances. If you have questions please do not hesitate to call the Police Department at 389-5050.

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

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