The Sarasota County Commission has taken action on a parking controversy near Siesta Key Village.
Commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday, that bans parking on certain parts of Avenida de Mayo, which had become a popular overflow parking option for beachgoers and patrons of Village restaurants and shops. The resolution bans parking on both sides of the street from Canal Road to Avenida Cortez and implements staggered 500-foot no-parking zones from Avenida de Cortez to Avenida Del Norte.
Sarasota County Fire Chief Mike Tobias in a staff report noted that parking in the right-of-way limited access for emergency vehicles. And residents lobbied the Sarasota County Traffic Advisory Council (TAC) March 8, to prohibit parking, which they said had become a safety concern.
“It’s almost impossible to get out of my driveway,” said Avenida de Mayo resident Pat Conte during the TAC meeting. Cars lining the street can create blind spots, such as the one that almost caused Conte to hit two skateboarders in early March, she said.
But, Eat Here Manager Stefan Waiss spoken against the petition. He contended the No. 1 beach ranking from Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman has made Siesta a year-round destination. That means the island has year-round parking shortages.
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