Voice Your Opinion About Paid Parking on Gulf Blvd by Aug. 31st

Below is a great article by the editor of the Port Isabel Press. If you want to voice your opinion about paid parking on Gulf Blvd., you must do it by August 31st to the GLO. Read below:


by Editor

Special to the PRESS

Beach User Fees or as some would rather call it, paid parking is coming to Gulf Boulevard next year by the way things look with the City of South Padre Island and the Texas General Land Office. So what does that mean? It means that, if all goes well for the City, visitors and residents will have to start paying to use the public beach parking spots on Padre Boulevard in order to access the city beaches. Up to $13 a day with an option to purchase a $50 “Annual Pass” would be the pricing for parking there. This is legal under the Texas Natural Resources Code 61 or the Open Beaches Act. That is not an issue. The spin on this by its supporters are that it will help make Gulf Boulevard safer for both residents and visitors by lowering the traffic on the road and add revenue to our very important Beach Maintenance Fund to help with adding parking options such as parking lots, cleaning the beach and add amenities for the beach users to utilize, such as bathrooms.

I have been involved in this issue as the Surfrider Foundation South Texas Representative for 10 years and this plan specifically for the past four years. The way it is being sold is that it will cost the City of South Padre Island hardly anything as it will all be handled by a mobile application available to smart phones and the revenue will go into the aforementioned benefits to the beach. However, there are some serious issues that still remain that make me and others skeptical about the success of this program.

The first issue is the system of payment itself. This would be done by a smartphone app that would allow the visitor to pay for their time in that spot effortlessly and those that do not own a phone capable of supporting that app can go to City Hall and purchase their pass manually. So let’s say that you have to go purchase the pass through City Hall. That means you actually have to go off of Gulf Boulevard and not even know if there would be a spot available when you went back.

The second issue is enforcement. A vehicle will only show up on the system if someone has actually bought their time in a spot either through the app or physically at an outlet. Vehicles that have not bought their time will be invisible. The way the City has promoted the enforcement of this is by one individual on an ATV with an iPad scanning license plates for those that have tried to game the system. The other issue with enforcement is with the time period. A person could actually occupy the spot for up to 24 hours. Is this same individual supposed to chalk tires and then report back to the next shift whose responsibility it would be to ticket and tow the offending vehicle? Without this important aspect of enforcement it is very likely that condo complexes will take over these public parking spots to alleviate their problem of not planning enough parking for their own renters. Is there anyone out there that actually believes one person can actually handle this during the months of March, June, July and August? It is completely impossible! It is apparent that there will have to be more than just one individual involved in this process like the police. The problem with this is not only added expenses to the City’s General Fund but the fact that our police don’t even know how the restricted parking on the side feeder streets work. I actually was ticketed for parking in an authorized area a few weeks ago and that is five years after the restrictions have been in effect!

Finally, safety. That is, after all, what this is for, right? The City must provide free parking in order to offset the paid parking according to the OBA and the GLO. A few spots on Gulf Boulevard such as the cul-de-sacs at Wanna Wanna, Boomerang Billy’s and Harbor will be provided but the majority are across Padre Boulevard (State Highway 100) and would require the visitor to either try and wait for only one Wave Bus that services the entire route or cross their family across the very busy main thoroughfare for SPI! So much for safety!

In addition, the City already has recognized that this Beach User Fee program will not create any real revenue, if any, by seeking a bond proposal to finish the Gulf Boulevard improvements that must be done. This program will also not, in my opinion, alleviate traffic on Gulf or increase safety for our visitors while actually costing the City more than the program will be bringing in and not help fund amenities for our tourists.

The proposed ordinance has been submitted to the Texas Register and public comments are open until August 31. If you would like to submit your comments, please submit them to Walter Talley at the General Land Office atwalter.talley@glo.texas.gov.



About padreeliteteam

Alta Monroe, Gayle Hood, Jules Wilk & Laurie Howell are a full-time professional and dynamic team known as the Padre Elite Team with RE/MAX 1st Choice in South Padre Island. Quality service for their clients is their number one priority. To them, it is about the client's needs and protecting their interests. Finding just the right property for their buyers or helping their sellers get their property SOLD is their goal. Helping clients step through the complicated process of buying or selling a property to a smooth closing is essential to them. A personal Bio on each of the team agents is posted on their website at www.PadreEliteTeam.com. The South Padre Island real estate industry is changing faster than ever these days. With the changes in the economy, there are new challenges with buyers, sellers, foreclosures, short sales, Internet marketing, our education, increases in inventories, changes in comparable sales, and frustrating politics. Alta, Gayle, Laurie, and Jules strive to stay on top of all of these changes and to keep in touch with their clients. Alta, Gayle, Jules & Laurie all hold designations they have acquired through eduction. These designations include CLHMS, CRS, GRI, RSPS, CPN, ePRO, SFR and RSPS. Gayle and Jules both hold the CLHMS (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist) designation and they are the ONLY agents in the entire Rio Grande Valley that are members of the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing. This better qualifies them to share their specialized expertise with a luxury home seller or buyer. Making sure the buyer and the seller are represented correctly is a priority for this team. Investing in TREPAC (Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee) is important to this team since TREPAC has proven to be a major force in Texas by lobbying for Realtors and property rights for the consumer. For many years, the Padre Elite Team has been a major investor in TREPAC. Alta and Gayle have attended the National Association of Realtors Mid-Year Conference in Washington, D.C. often. The conference is primarily for Realtors that are Board directors or executives. It is a great way to stay on top of the current issues facing Realtors and homeowners in our country. They get to meet with their Senators and Congressmen to express their concerns. Last year they were invited to attend the Realtor PAC President’s Circle Conference in New York where they heard many famous guest speakers regarding current real estate issues. The Padre Elite Team also attends the RE/MAX International Conference each year to acquire more education and to keep up with the latest technology available to Realtors in the Marketplace. They have received numerous awards for being Top Producers in the real estate industry. Education is a priority for this entire team including their assistant, Grace. The GOOD news is that 2012, 2013, 2014 and now 2015 proved to be better each year for real estate sales in South Padre Island and the surrounding areas of Port Isabel, Laguna Vista/South Padre Island Golf Community, and Bayview. The real estate market is showing an increase in the number of sales and a leveling of values. Now that the market has hit the bottom, investors are finding that real estate is a great place to invest their money. It is still a buyer's market and a great time to buy. Alta, Gayle, Jules & Laurie all agree that it has been such a pleasure to live & work in a resort area such as South Padre Island. A hundred of your closest friends and family will visit when you live near the beach! Clients are always encouraged to contact them. For more information about this team and to view their blog, visit www.PadreEliteTeam.com.
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One Response to Voice Your Opinion About Paid Parking on Gulf Blvd by Aug. 31st

  1. Alta says:

    I don’t think this proposal will solve the traffic or safety problems on Gulf blvd. I feel that if the city is considering a bond issue include cost of public (pay) parking garage w a shuttle to the beach


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