Once a quiet, three-block stretch between MacDill Avenue and Bayshore Boulevard, Waverly Avenue has been a nightmare for residents to navigate since the Alagon condominiums arrived four years ago.
Construction trucks and other service vehicles have clogged both sides of the street. Fender benders have become routine. The 47 new homes in the 23-story tower at 3507 Bayshore have put more cars into the neighborhood's daily traffic.
Now, the city of Tampa has the daunting task of figuring out parking rules that will make the most Waverly homeowners happy and keep the city street functional and open to visitors.
Frustrations ran high at a meeting Tuesday night at Kate Jackson Community Center, where city public works manager Tony Rodriguez and traffic analyst William Porth listened to Waverly and Alagon residents vent about parking and driving woes. They couldn't do anything about issues that brewed during three years of construction, they said, but they can now come up with a plan to ease traffic problems.
"We're in a difficult position of mitigating people's contentment," Porth said, "and it's kind of hard on us."
Porth's proposal was to prohibit parking on the south side of Waverly, where parking is now allowed and which borders the most homes and driveways, and allow people to park along the north side instead. He unveiled an aerial map of the plan, which showed a maximum of 18 possible parking spaces between MacDill and Bayshore.
Several of the residents complained, saying 18 was far too many, and Porth said he will spend the next few weeks studying the street to decide how and where to restrict parking. Ideally, he said, the final plan will supply four to 10 spaces on the north side.
Julia Waters, whose home borders the Alagon on the north side, still worried about what will happen if construction takes place on some vacant properties on MacDill close to Waverly. Construction crews, she said, don't seem to mind if they park illegally and get ticketed.
"We're going to be the dumping ground for (all the service trucks) again," she said.
One of the problems, Porth said, is that so many homeowners are using signs limiting parking in front of their homes to five minutes that they have lost their effectiveness. He's hoping to provide enough north side parking spaces that will keep people from being tempted to park illegally.
"Our next step is to refine the plan to be a more appropriate reflection of what the neighborhood needs," he said.
Emily Nipps can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3431.