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Date of Issue: December 09, 2009

Anna Maria parking problem not new

Anna Maria has been officially dealing with its parking issues since 1959, when the first parking committee was organized to attempt to find solutions for residential and public parking.

A timeline of what is known from Islander and other newspaper accounts reveals:

• 1924 — The first vehicle to reach Anna Maria crosses the new Cortez Bridge, turns right to the city and can’t find a parking location when it arrives.

• 1959 — City establishes parking committee, according to a newspaper story. No action found.

• 1977 — City forms parking committee. Recommendations are made to the city commission, but no action taken.

• 1998 — Another parking committee was formed and recommendations made to the commission, but no official action taken.

• 2000 — Parking committee again presented recommendations to commission, but no action taken.

• 2002 — Mayor SueLynn presents city commission with parking problem. Between April 2002 and September 2005, the commission held 13 special meetings on parking and had the issue on its agenda 29 times, according to The Islander newspaper stories.

• 2003 — Traffic engineer report identifies 336 public parking spaces in Anna Maria. Report suggests some spaces could be unsafe because of the viewable plane.

• 2005 — In September, commission adopts yearly alternate-street parking ordinance. The idea had been rejected by the commission when first presented in 2003 by SueLynn.

• 2009 — In November, the commission forms a short-lived committee to study parking safety in the retail-office-residential district.

• December, 2009 — Commission agreed to form an ad-hoc parking safety committee to do an in-depth study of parking safety in the city, not just the ROR district.