Anna Maria’s street-side parking switches sides

Anna Maria’s street-side parking switches sides
Parking is allowed on the north side of Palm Avenue in 2019. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

ANNA MARIA – Make sure you park on the proper side of the street in the city limits of Anna Maria, at the north end of Anna Maria Island – the city annually switches which side of the street can be parked on.

There are 14 streets in Anna Maria subject to this annual switch and the parking signs along those streets have now been moved to the proper side for 2019. This means you’ll be issued a $35 citation if a member of the city’s Parking Enforcement Department sees you’ve parked on the wrong side of the street. The parking fine increases to $50 if not paid within seven days.

The impacted streets are Gladiolus Street, Fern Street, Newtown Lane, Fir Avenue, Coconut Avenue, Sycamore Avenue, Elm Avenue, Magnolia Avenue, Palm Avenue, Palmetto Avenue, Jacaranda Road, Maple Avenue, Beach Avenue and Peppertree Lane.

Anna Maria’s street-side parking switches sides
Parking is not allowed on the south side of Palm Avenue in 2019. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

The alternating street-side parking took effect on Dec. 1, 2005. Current City Commissioner Dale Woodland was a member of the commission that adopted those parking provisions. Earlier this week, he shared his thoughts on that decision-making process.

Woodland said the intent was to provide at least some relief, on an annual basis, for the property owners who live along those streets that are heavily used by beachgoers and other visitors.

“The council was pretty much divided. We had one group of people that didn’t want anybody parking on their street and we had another group of people that thought they ought to be able to park on both sides. We compromised to where you can park on one side one year and the other side the other year. It took a lot of debate and it wasn’t a quick fix,” Woodland said, noting that he doesn’t hear much debate about it anymore.

“They’re pretty much used to it. I’ve had a couple of complaints over the years when they get switched and somebody forgets and gets a ticket,” Woodland said.

Sgt. Mike Jones, of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, reminds drivers that when parking in the city of Anna Maria, all four tires must be off the pavement and you must park in the proper direction of the flow of traffic.

Anna Maria’s street-side parking switches sides
This truck was ticketed in Anna Maria Wednesday morning for having two tires parked on Palm Avenue. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach

Street-side parking regulations vary from city to city on Anna Maria Island.

Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer cautions drivers not to park in front of a sign that says “No Parking,” not to park in front of a fire hydrant and to be courteous and not park in front of someone’s mailbox.

“You have to have to park with the flow of traffic and facing the proper direction. If you’ve parked on a road, make sure you’ve left room for other vehicles to drive around you – including ambulances, fire trucks and trash trucks. Nothing in our rules say you have to have all your wheels off the road,” Tokajer said.

But when parking street-side in Bradenton Beach, Police Chief Sam Speciale cautions drivers that all four tires must be off the pavement, like Anna Maria. Vehicles also must be parked in the direction of the flow of traffic.