SPI Officials Warn About Parking Issues
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – Police are warning people headed to South Padre Island for the Fourth of July holiday to be mindful of where they park.
Many streets between Padre Boulevard and Gulf Boulevard are off-limits to anyone without a permit. Visitors should be on the lookout for signs that prohibit parking from March 1 to Sept. 15.
Police said there are approximately 1,600 public parking spaces available near beach accesses on the island.
While there are no set plans for added parking, SPI city leaders said they’re looking at several lots that could be turned into parking areas.
Beachgoer Aaron Hernandez said he would like the parking situation to improve.
“Provide more parking – whether it’s paid parking or whatever – but closer to the activities that we need to come and do out here,” he said. “We just want to get down, have a good time, get out. So, more parking would be appreciated.”
Police are urging people to avoid parking illegally this 4th of July
"Finding qualified parking is do able if your wanting to get right up to the beach front and be right there where your vehicle is very close you may be waiting around driving around trying to find a spot for that," said South Padre Island Police Chief Randy Smith.
Smith said people typically want to park as close as they can to the beach. When people can't find a spot, he said this can lead to people parking illegally especially in neighborhoods.
"If they'll check those signs at the end of each block and see what the times and the rules are associated with that street," he said.
Smith added they do see an increase in calls around this time from residents fed up with how crowded their areas can get.
He said there are several places people can park for free around the city.
Smith said he feels some of these areas aren't as appealing as others because they aren't located near the beach. He still urges people to use them anyway.
"People can park there for free and take our bus anywhere. We have a free bus system that runs around the city, so people can get pretty much anywhere that they want," he said.
Smith said you can also bring your personal beach items with you on the bus. Police said parking tickets can range from $50 to $130.
The South Padre Island Convention Center is also a public parking area available to beachgoers.