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Visitor decries beach parking ‘scam’
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Editor:
I am writing this as a recent visitor to the area. We stayed in Redington Beach last week. We drove to Clearwater Beach one day. There were crowds of people and parking was limited. Heading south, I saw cars parked along the street as well as a parking lot but I could not see where to enter. After having turned around before going over the causeway I came upon an open space in the street. I looked up and the sign said No Parking 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. It was about 5 p.m. No where else was there a sign to indicate this was a no parking area.

There were no yellow lines painted indicating it was not to be used for parking. Upon my return about 1 1/2 hours later, I noticed a parking ticket on my car as well as five other cars. After moving my car into the lot I went over to take a picture of the sign to submit to the traffic court. I then noticed that under all the white sand on the street one could barely see some faded white painted lines. I had to literally kick the sand away to see the lines.

As a tourist I find a trap like this cheap. Why take the time to erect a sign that says no parking during specific times stated above but not bother to erect one to say No Parking At All Times? The only reason would be to ticket unsuspecting tourists. I noticed in the other beach towns there are signs indicating no parking or when parking is permitted or at what distance. I am sure the residents who read this are laughing at the tourists and unfortunately the tourists are not in town to read it for the heads up. For a city who undoubtedly relies on tourism I find this approach reprehensible.

Of course, I paid my fine but you can be sure that I will not visit the city of Clearwater Beach again, spend any dollars there and certainly tell the many individuals I know who visit the Gulf beaches to do the same. I feel it would be a service to your community to put this scam out in the open.

Denise Wheeler
Rocky River, Ohio
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