- February 11, 2022
Longboat Key is gearing up for an eventful Fourth of July celebration, and Police Chief George Turner wants to make sure that revelers are safe behind the wheel.
Turner said that Longboat Key Police will have extra staff working over the holiday, as will the Fire Department and Public Works. The main concern for Longboat Key is the traffic, said Turner, and the police will attempt to give drivers the most current information possible.
“We’re trying to put a few extra marine patrol and Greer Island Beach Patrol people out,” said Turner. “We'll put up our signs on each end of the island, letting visitors that come in know if there's any parking at the end of the beach access. We want to make sure that people aren't out just riding around hunting. If there's no places left, we'll make sure they know that.”
He also said that recently Longboat Key has had problems with golf carts clogging up traffic, and he underlined that golf carts are not allowed on Gulf of Mexico Drive or anywhere where the speed limit is 35 mph or higher.
“We encourage everyone to enjoy the holiday. Be safe,” said Turner. “Don’t drink and drive. Don’t park on private property. Don’t park on the right of ways. If the parking lots are full, the parking lots are full. Look over in the Coquina Beach area. They have a lot more parking than we do, but with construction, it’s going to limit the amount of cars able to park safely.”
Turner said that the main X-Factor for the holiday will undoubtedly be the weather, but Longboat Key will have a lot of public-sector employees on call no matter the forecast.
“We’re pretty set looking forward to a nice, safe holiday weekend for everyone,” he said. “It’s always busy. But it will depend on the weather. If it’s a beautiful, sunny, warm beach day, it’s going to be extremely busy out on the water with boats and beach visitors. If the weather does not cooperate, we will still have our personnel out.
"Public Works will be out to make sure the areas are kept clean and orderly for the visitors.”