Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Let's Go Parking!
It used to be “parking” was fun back in the happy high school days, like sneaking some beer and trying to get smoochy-face in the back seat. Not so these days, where parking in some areas has become a huge problem during peak times. Of course there’s no big problem this time of year, so I leaned over the porch railing and grabbed a shot of our Island mascot, ‘La Bamba.’ Nice off-road potential on this puppy!
The problem is most acute by the Gulf side when everyone wants to go to the beach, which of course requires many SUV’s even if you live two blocks away. The condo owners try to fight off the crowds, threatening with towing, fines, and the glorious “Denver Boot” while at the same time their over-flow customers park on public lots. One suggestion by the Town was to meter the public access parking lots but I think that one went down in proverbial flames.
Then we have developers that want less parking so they can build more condo complexes. With land worth several hundred per square foot, I can see their point, but where are all these people going to park? Some families come down here with one car but some come with as many as six. This begs the question of whether the Town should build a huge parking garage to finance development, one which I am starting to think is a rather silly idea.
So my latest crusade is to do a master parking study and to require all large developments to evaluate their impact on parking before getting a permit to construct multiple dwelling units. No, it will not be popular and no, I’m not referring to sneaking some joy juice and smooches in the back seat.