The island's growing popularity is attracting more visitors than there are parking spaces
Holmes Beach, Florida -- With cars parked on sidewalks and front lawns, some Anna Maria Island residents say they have had enough.
The island's growing popularity is attracting more visitors than there are parking spaces. On a weekend or holiday you can barely walk let along drive through.
"It's like a parking lot here. They're parked on both sides of the street this way as well," says Jaynie Christenson.
She and her neighbors have formed a committee and they've taken pictures. While some street parking is allowed it's what comes with it she says that's a problem.
The island's growing popularity is attracting more visitors than there are parking spaces. WTSP
Christenson says, "People urinating in my neighbor's yards, people use hoses off people's homes to rinse off from the beach, leave trash in our yard."
Jaynie worries about safety including her son's Evan. "Kids, pedestrians, bicyclists have trouble getting around cars in a safe manner," she says.
Illegal parking is a growing problem too. One Atlanta visitor found a $35 ticket on his windshield for parallel parking facing the wrong way (opposite direction of traffic) on the road. This visitor from Atlanta isn't alone. Police wrote 340 parking tickets in May and 977 tickets since November.
"We're ticketing for parking in no parking zones parking on sidewalks," explains Holmes Beach Police Chief William Tokajer. He adds, "There isn't enough parking at the beach."
The committee has given Holmes Beach city leaders a long list of ways to resolve the parking problem. The list includes getting rid of all these scattered parking signs with different parking rules and replacing them with the same message. "It has been suggested to remove street parking on Holmes Beach," says Christenson.
"I don't think it's a good idea ,people need to get to the beach," says Johnathan Christerson
Other solutions include paid parking, parking decals for residents and consistent parking laws along the barrier island.
"If we are going to add parking to the city has to be parking garage it has to go up," says Tokajer.
The police chief says any money raised from paid parking should stay on the barrier island to help pay for more law enforcement, public works projects and road improvements.
Christenson says, "We want to keep beaches open to everyone in the public want them to respect have a safe time here."
Holmes City Council will discuss the parking problem at a workshop on Thursday. The issue is expected to come up at a city council meeting next month. To read more on the committee's suggestions go to this story on wtsp.com