Parking limits, then permitting, around boat ramp


Council member Dan Zieg, who is spearheading an effort to deal with the issue of of traffic congestion and at the Harbor Drive boat ramp, said that he envisions a two-phase solution to the problem: Parking limitations, and eventually permitting for those using the ramp.
The ramp rumpus was discussed at the last City Council meeting, on Jan. 12, where a number of fixes were proposed, and where affected residents put in their two cents on the matter.
“We’re going to discuss the boat ramp a bit further at our next meeting, on the 26 of January,” Zieg said, following the meeting. “I do feel that we need to have a workshop and public input on this. But it seems that with the input from the sheriff of Monroe County and other members of the council, that the immediate action will be to limit the parking on Harbor Drive and Aviation Boulevard so that it doe not cause congestion problems for the people that live in those neighborhoods that surround the area of the boat ramp. I am sure that this will make an immediate reduction in their problems and minimize the difficulties form this point forward. As far as the permitting I think that will be the next step after the workshop.”
Other suggestions discussed Tuesday included the increasing of parking fines, more signage, and turning the area around the ramp into a tow-away zone.
One resident called the current situation “clearly a mess.”
Then-Council Member Mark Senmartin had proposed trying to use Monroe County Tourist Development Council money to purchase a parcel of land adjacent to the ramp for a park, during a public workshop discussion of the matter back in August.
That idea, however, met with overwhelming resistance from local residents, and the proposal was quickly shelved.
Council Member Michelle Coldiron has described the current situation in the ramp area as “dangerous,” and called for further discussion both about the Harbor Drive ramp, and the need for more boat ramps in Marathon, in general, as a way of easing congestion.
Her colleague, John Bartus, has previously said “Hopefully we’re going to figure all of this out, and find a solution, so that we can get everybody sort of peacefully co-existing. We do need to do something in terms of getting people to be a bit more considerate regarding the neighbors. There are a number of ‘no parking’ signs in the area, but it seems like many people are just ignoring them these days.”


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