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Drivers illegally parking along streets of Old Seminole Heights in Tampa

Posted at 4:41 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 02:58:54-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Neighbors in an Old Seminole Heights neighborhood say drivers are frequently parking in no parking zones, especially on the weekends.

James Schuster took a photo this past weekend where cars could barely make their way down Hanlon Street, right off Florida Avenue.

Schuster said that there are visible 'No Parking any time' signs up and down the roads, but drivers ignore them.

"It was a mess," he said. "Cars all over the place parked half hazardously and it didn’t matter where they parked."

ABC Action News has been following drivers illegally parking in bike lanes, on sidewalks and in no parking lanes since May.

Drivers seen illegally parking in bicycle lanes, on sidewalks throughout Tampa

Earlier this month, the Tampa Police Department said in a letter to transportation leaders that officers have responded to more than 1,700 calls about illegal parking so far in 2019.

Of those, 112 involved vehicles parked on the sidewalk and 14 involved parked vehicles obstructing bike lanes. Of the 14 calls related to bike lanes, eight of those were in February alone. In the majority of the reports, the calls were anonymous, according to Eddy Durkin, a public information officer with Tampa Police.

Along Hanlon Street this past weekend, Schuster called the non-emergency line twice for enforcement.

Durkin said an officer responded and found out there was a community event with children and families at a nearby playground, so the officer used her own discretion to not write any citations.

He went on to say that the officer made sure the roadway was clear enough for traffic to get through.

Schuster said a ticket, or someone being towed might curb the illegal parking on the weekends.

"You can’t get by with that down in other parts of the city, I guarantee it," he said. "You get a ticket or you get towed."

Officers are now encouraging people to call TPD's non-emergency report line when they see a bike lane or sidewalk blocked at 813-231-6130.