MARCO ISLAND — Hoping to take pressure off Marco Island’s south beach, the city and Collier County’s parks department have teamed up to make Tigertail Beach a drivers’ destination. They are hoping new directional signs will do the trick.
Joe Irvin, city zoning administrator, announced the signs through a press release, saying nine permanent directional signs will point drivers to Tigertail from either North or South Collier Boulevard.
The first sign after crossing the Judge S.S. Jolley Bridge will be placed on Collier Boulevard near Fairlawn Court, Irving said on Monday. The second will be near Rose Court with another on the south side of the Smokehouse Bay Bridge. A sign at Kendall Drive will indicate a right turn, then one on Kendall will point left onto Hernando toward Tigertail Beach.
From the south, a large sign with map will be placed in the county’s south beach parking lot, Irving said.
“The idea is that once a driver has made the loop inside the lot and has not found a parking space, he or she will say: ‘Wow, there’s another parking lot with beach access at Tigertail’”
As of Monday, sign locations for South Collier Boulevard had not been worked out with the county, Irving said.
The signs are expected to be posted during the week of March 11 but closer to Thursday or Friday, he said. They will replace any existing signage pointing to Tigertail Beach. The signs were purchased by the county and will be placed by city public works employees.
When the county’s 70-space parking lot at south beach is full, county planners hope to alleviate frustration by sending beachgoers to the 210-space parking facility at Tigertail Beach. The press release called Tigertail “under-utilized.”
City planners hope drivers will take the hint and follow the signs rather than look for south beach parking on vacant lots, unmarked business or private condominium parking spaces or unrestricted side streets.
Last fall, the city posted most streets within short walking distance of south beach as “no parking” zones. The fine for violators is $95.
Tigertail Beach, county owned and located at 400 Hernando Drive on Marco, offers 31 acres of park with six boardwalks, one bathhouse with another to be constructed by mid summer, a concession stand and recreation rentals. The park is open from 8 a.m. to sundown and is located along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.