Construction Underway to Improve Parking at South Padre Island
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – Work is underway on South Padre Island to provide people some much-needed parking spots.
City leaders told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the project includes redoing five streets between Padre Boulevard and Gulf Boulevard.
Jackie Robles said she doesn't love everything about living in a tourist destination.
"I don't really like having all these cars parked out here all the time," she said.
Robles explained there isn't enough parking for all the beach goers, especially during the summer months. She said some visitors do not respect island residents.
"It gets flooded with cars," she said, "We have cars that will park in our driveway. We don't know who these people are, and we end up getting blocked."
Robles said she's never called the police or a wrecker to get vehicles out of her way. But that's proven costly to her.
"We have gotten towed just for parking on our neighbor's side of the driveway," Robles said. "It's like $300 to get your car out. It's pretty ridiculous. It's not like I can stand out here all day and tell people, 'Hey, this is where I live.'"
Relief is on the way, according to city leaders. They said Atol, Lantana, Sunny Isles, Venus and Jupiter streets are getting improved.
Public Works Director Alex Sanchez said the drainage will be redone, sidewalks will be constructed and the 'No Parking' signs are coming down to allow drivers to park alongside the curb.
"There's limited access to the beach, so 200 spaces will add access to the beach and the safety of the pedestrians," Sanchez explained.
He said they selected the five streets to maximize the number of parking spaces near a beach access; the streets have the least amount of driveways.
Construction on Atol started Monday. Sanchez said each street will take about 30 days to complete.
There are also plans for even more parking to come, he adds.
"We're working on the master thoroughfare plan which is going to determine the streets that have the priority on doing those," Sanchez said.
The $1.4 million project is funded by South Padre Island tax-payers.
It's a project Robles supports.
"We love to have people on the island, we don't have any problem with that," she said. "But it becomes a problem whenever they don't follow the rules. It becomes a problem for everybody."
She hopes it will be enough to keep unwanted drivers off her property.
Drivers who park in a designated area marked as a 'No Parking' or 'Parking Only by Permit' can face a fine of about $200 and risk getting towed.
City officials said parking at the South Padre Island Convention Centre is always free.