Village residents want more parking controls

Editor & Publisher

New town rules to limit parking in the Longbeach Village do not go far enough and area residents want further restrictions imposed.

At a Village Association meeting last Wednesday evening, residents said that many of the village’s streets are too narrow to safely allow parking on both sides of the road and unless restricted, an ambulance or fire truck could be impeded.

The town commission on Monday is voting to adopt some restrictions including banning parking on the north side of Broadway from Palm to Bayside Drive. The town will also consider banning parking on the south side along the same stretch of road between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Additionally, the town is going to vote whether to ban parking on the east side of Lois Ave. between Broadway and Russell Street, as well as the east side of Poinsettia Drive between Broadway and Russell Street as well.

But for Village President Michael Drake, the majority of his neighbors want to see town staff and the commission look at controlling parking in the entire Village.

“We essentially have double parking on most every street, and we have had issues where fire trucks and ambulances could not get through. Before something happens,” said Drake, “we want to nip this issue in the bud.”

Drake said he continues to tell staff and the commissioners to look at the Gulf side of Gulf of Mexico Drive near Conrad Beach where there is no parking on either side and the signage has been accomplished tastefully. Drake said it is not an issue of restaurants, but really looking at the entire picture of the Village and addressing what he says is a life-safety issue.

Town Manager David Bullock said, “The commission can make minor adjustments and perhaps add a street to the new restrictions on Monday, but major changes will require more analysis.”

He said if the commissioners are all in agreement, they have the option to make other than major changes to the other ordinance.

Mayor Jim Brown says he wants to be cautious because if Villagers insist on the commission undertaking the whole region, it could put the whole thing off until next spring because staff including fire and police personnel would have to analyze the situation.

“If we do that, we will not have any parking regulations this season in the Village. We cannot just implement new changes without fire and police doing their due diligence, said Brown.

The issue will be considered by the town commission at its 7 p.m. regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 6 at Town Hall. Residents are encouraged to attend.

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