Friday, September 23, 2011

From the file marked: "Solutions in Search of a Problem..."

As the Commission stumbled all over itself yesterday in a vain attempt to find a solution to a real problem regarding the beach renovation budget, rest assured that the city is busy providing solutions to non-existent problems on a regular basis throughout the city.

I've been waiting for a time to point out one example of this phenomena not far from where I reside.  At 16th Avenue and North Dixie Hwy, southeast corner, there is a business there called the MadHatter, a local neighborhood watering hole.  A similar business has been at this particular corner for as long as anyone can remember.  The current owners have owned the establishment for 8 years this coming March.

Like many businesses along the east side of Dixie Hwy, the shallow depth of the lot doesn't allow for much, if any, on-site parking.  This establishment has relied on on-street parking for its entire existence.  People park their cars starting along the north side of building, on 16th and, on busier times, cars can stretch along 16th to J Street in a parallel fashion.  Like I said, this situation has gone on forever.  The current owners cannot recall anytime where there was an accident of some sort at that corner or on the street related to the parking situation.  Apparently, neither can PBSO.

Now comes an unknown resident that lives somewhere farther east that rings or e-mails the City Manager.  From what I understand, the City Manager then dispatches the sheriff to come inspect the situation since the person complained about the possibility of people hitting the rear end of the car parked closest to  Dixie Hwy. as they turn on to 16th.  The owners were concerned about the potential too and cooperated with the sheriff when they came out to look at the situation.

The sheriff said that as long as the rear of the westernmost car was twenty feet from the corner, there wouldn't be an issue.  They brought the spray paint out and marked that spot on the pavement.  The owners of the business even thought that an extra five feet would be a good idea.
See mark by sheriff made on the curb/gutter.
Well, now here comes the city's crew out one day, given other direction by staff (?) and spend all day painting a "no parking" area along the south side of the street a total of 60 FEET from the corner (see part of the white stripes above.)  The owners couldn't believe what they were seeing as it was counter to the sheriff's recommendation and complete over-kill.   The city, realizing that it went too far, then came back and painted black paint over the easternmost 20 feet of the no parking area.  Then, like a cherry on top of the sundae, they came back with a special sign indicating no parking between there and Dixie Hwy.

Here are an assortment of pictures taken of the situation.  I think that the underlying reason for this over-reaction by city staff is evidence of the turf war between the city and PBSO - expect to have situations like this used as an example of the problems having an "independent" law enforcement agency in charge of things here.  Just sayin'...
How is this lane width here legal?  Is this a new, more serious problem?

The VW Passat is parked in the area "blacked out" later by the city.