The current regulations were approved by the Town Commission on June 3.
Almost two months ago, Longboat Key’s Town Commission enacted a number of changes restricting access to public parking in the Longbeach Village neighborhood. So what’s happened since?
Well, signs have gone up indicating the new parking rules. And, according to Cindy Fischer, who worked as a sort of liaison between the commission and the Longbeach Village Association, the streets have been clearer.
The last obstacle to smoothly implementing the adjustments is making sure everyone knows about them.
Fischer said the association is trying to send out notices and to give employees of local businesses a heads-up. The objective was never to see anyone ticketed, she said, only to open up room on the roads.
One of the main complaints of residents was the difficulty in seeing oncoming traffic with cars parked close to intersections. Beyond the list of new no-parking zones was more curbside space added at street corners, opening up sightlines for motorists trying to see if the road was clear.
Fischer said she believes people normally follow the rules when parking, but the association didn’t think the rules were stringent enough, leading to the changes. Thus far, “We haven’t heard of any new issues,” Fischer said.
Deputy Chief Frank Rubino of the Longboat Key police said that while officers would never advertise when they’re going to give warnings in lieu of parking citations, they prefer to be a bit more lenient when changes are made in long-standing rules.
Rubino said he hasn’t heard any complaints about the altered parking policies either.
People who break the rules could receive a warning, but, Rubino said, police would never give the same person more than one warning. He also said it's premature to talk about the next stage of parking enforcement.
According to police records, officers responded to 417 parking complaints in the Village in all of 2018, and 389 parking tickets were written in the neighborhood, though some tickets were likely written without a complaint being made.
Since June 1, police have responded to 56 complaints of parking problems and written 48 parking tickets.
When commissioners approved the package of changes, town officials said they would monitor the effectiveness of the new rules through the fall and into the heavier traffic of season. Village residents had pushed for, and town leaders initially resisted, a resident-only arrangement for street parking.