Anna Maria Island cities should offer annual parking pass

August 30, 2013 

Beach-goers relax on Anna Maria Island Wednesday. As available public parking spots become harder to find in and around the City of Anna Maria, the city is contemplating charging visitors for public parking. PAUL VIDELA/Bradenton Herald

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Anna Maria Island is part of Manatee County, whose residents pay taxes that help provide for infrastructure, schools, etc., on the island. It is our beach, too.

Most of us take great pride and care of it -- and spend a lot of money on the island to boot.

The irony of what is taking place on AMI is that they aggressively promote it as a destination. There is not much room left to grow, unless you go vertical and turn the place into an even bigger parking lot.

I guess I am now a dreaded "day tripper," but I go in the mornings and rarely on holidays, so do not have a parking issue and am not a cause of the problem. However, I understand the expense involved.

What I am requesting is that county residents be given the option to purchase an annual parking pass for access to any non-private parking. Maybe it could be coordinated with the island cities.

This will raise funds, greatly simplify the process, and still discourage the day trippers you do not want. A $100 pass would not be unreasonable, in my view.

Phil Moore

Bradenton

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