To Mayor Dan Murphy, City of Anna Maria: My wife and I had the opportunity to visit Anna Maria Sept. 19. Having visited previously on several occasions, I was somewhat familiar with your parking situation. Your community is not shy about posting signs indicating where you can and cannot park.
After our pleasant visit and as we were returning to our parked car, I found a parking ticket on the windshield. The violation was marked "4. Parked Facing Wrong Direction."
It is true that on a quiet, low-traffic residential block I parked in the opposite direction of traffic. However, of all the hundreds of parking signs posted throughout your community, I did not see one sign that notified motorists that they must park in the same direction as traffic.
In fact, the closest sign to where I parked read "Parking Allowed This Side Between Signs - Park With Tires Off Pavement." I did park on that side, between the signs, and off the pavement.
I parked in a manner that was safe, not blocking traffic or access, and in compliance with all posted signs. You managed to have my car ticketed within 20 minutes of my parking the car.
Congratulations, you clearly saw your revenue source coming.
After looking online at your ordinances, I see that you do indeed have this ordinance on your books. However, just as there is such a thing as "good will," there is also "bad will." In my case you have earned substantially more than $35 in bad will.
I will pay your ticket under protest. I will also be sure to let my family, friends and community know just how Anna Maria -- "Parking Tickets Incorporated" -- operates.
Lindsey M. Porter