Put a parking garage on beach
Here's what our Clearwater city planners have wrought:
Sitting in her hotel room on U.S. 19 or her apartment in Tampa or house in Clearwater, mom decides to take the three kids to the beach. After a half-hour delay on Memorial Causeway, she finds all the parking spaces on Clearwater Beach are full. She is directed to a four-story parking garage two blocks from the beach.
After navigating the tight corners, she finds a place to park. Time to empty the car. John carts the umbrella and one chair; Jane carries the cooler and blanket. Mom embraces the baby. They head for the elevator, where they are crammed in with two other families.
They get off the elevator and follow the crowd to the corner, still carting all their stuff. They have to wait several minutes for the light to change and then proceed to the next corner and wait again.
Eventually, they find themselves crossing Beach Walk, which is full of skateboarders, and after 15 minutes finally find a spot on the beach and fall down exhausted.
But Johnny, who is 7, forgot his radio back in the parking garage two blocks and two intersections from the beach. He can't go back alone. He could get run over by a car or kidnapped, and mom can't leave the kids alone on the beach. John will have to do without the radio. He complains all day. Some fun day this is.
Mom wonders whatever happened to the convenient beachfront parking and decides next time to vacation in Disney, put in a pool or go to St. Pete Beach.
Moral of the story: If you take away 400 parking spaces convenient to the beach, then you have to build the garage on the beach. That's if you want people to actually come here.
Phillip Marmanillo, Clearwater
Clearwater Beach parking
Use courthouse to park on weekends
How about using the empty Pinellas County Courthouse parking garage at the east end of the Memorial Causeway on weekends for beach parking and offer a trolley ride to the beach?
Do something! Spring break is here!
E.A. Seurynck, Clearwater
Parking for 1 hour is not sufficient
My daughter and her boyfriend went parasailing at Clearwater Beach last Sunday and could only find one-hour parking at the city marina lot. The Pier 60 lot was full.
They fed the parking meter right up to their departure, but since they were on a full parasailing trip, it took longer than one hour to complete. Result: a $20 ticket.
My question is how are we to support local businesses at the marina with one-hour parking? What can you do at the marina that allows you to feed the meter every hour? How can I tell people visiting me to go out for a day or half-day of fishing and have an enjoyable day tainted on their return? This reminds me of trying to get to Jacksonville and having to drive through Waldo, knowing you will get a speeding ticket to support their local government.
If the city of Clearwater needs money badly enough to set up visitors with unrealistic restrictions while they are supporting local businesses, then good luck. I'll chalk that $20 up to experience and take my entertainment dollars elsewhere.
Bruce Gentry, Crystal Beach
Reclaimed water carries no risks | letter from the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Feb. 27
Reclaimed water isn't always safe
Getting right to the point, the letter states, "Reclaimed water . . . meets more than 95 percent of drinking water standards." We might presume that it does not meet 5 percent of the standards. Would anyone like to risk eating a hamburger that had a 5 percent chance of being infected with mad cow disease?
Are there statistics on reclaimed runoff that might seep into our freshwater lakes and streams? If it is so "clean," why are children not supposed to play in it or animals or pets not supposed to walk in it while the ground is wet from it? Why are you not supposed to use it to irrigate any fruit or vegetable that can't be peeled? Do farmers use it on the strawberry fields?
I am in favor of using reclaimed water in areas where the least amount of infection or damage is likely to occur. I don't mind gambling, but when the public health is concerned, it seems just a little bit more scary than buying a lottery ticket.
Norene Marlow, Clearwater