Sarasota News Leader

05/24/2013

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Sarasota News Leader May 24, 2013 DELVING INTO DETAILS When Patterson asked Merkle whether Avenida de Mayo residents understood they would not be able to park on their own street if a ban were put into effect, Merkle replied, "I believe so." Regarding the 48 houses along the street, Merkle added, "I don't believe there are any large families, to be honest." Patterson suggested one solution would be to widen the street and include standard curbing so people could park on the sides, with ample travel room remaining. She likened that to the situation during the height of season on St. Armands, where people regularly park in front of homes. (Patterson earlier noted that Avenida de Mayo has low or no curbing.) Page 44 "I don't know if they have been issuing tickets or not," Wiggins responded. "As a former prosecutor," Robinson pointed out, "I can probably write about a dozen tickets …" Merkle told the News Leader that in all her 25 years on Avenida de Mayo, "I've never seen anyone get a ticket …" When Patterson asked Wiggins how many spaces would be lost if the parking were prohibited on the south side of the street from Canal Road to Avenida de Cortez, Wiggins said her estimate was 14 or 15. Merkle told the News Leader only 10 spaces would be lost, because the extra vehicles in Wiggins' count were parking in front of driveways. "That would be great if the county would do Patterson told her fellow board members, "I that," Merkle responded. think we need a more sophisticated solution Then Patterson told her, "That's a pretty ex- [than parking restrictions] and, frankly, I think pensive venture." we need to provide more parking on the key, more legitimate parking." When Hines asked whether staff had communicated with the Sheriff's Office about Merkle's Robinson reiterated the need to work with the petition, Paula Wiggins, the county's trans- Sheriff's Office on enforcement before impleportation planning manager, said she was not menting parking restrictions, adding that she sure the office had been asked for comments, also feared a "domino effect," with residents except for those of the officer serving on the on other Siesta Key residential streets seeking similar protection if the County Commission TAC. (TAC member Sgt. Darrell Seckendorf approved the request. of the Sheriff's Office seconded the motion to deny Merkle's request after she appeared be- However, Luckner pointed out to the News Leader after the meeting that Sheriff's Office fore that board on March 11.) personnel have told the SKA board numerous Hines continued, "Tickets can be written times in recent years that only three deputies based on what I'm looking at in these pic- per shift routinely patrol Siesta Key. "There is tures," referring to the photos Merkle had sub- insufficient staff" to provide routine parking enforcement, Luckner said. % mitted to the county.

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