Ybor City drivers say too many parked cars leading to street blockages

Posted at 6:13 PM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-31 02:24:15-04

Drivers who live in some of Tampa's oldest neighborhoods say they are unable to drive down tight, crowded streets because there are simply too many parked cars.

Many streets in Ybor City are very narrow and many people do not have driveways. Many cars are parked on both sides of the street leaving some residents facing head-on traffic!

"If you see a car coming, you have to pretty much guess, are they going to stop or are you," said Josh Langhoff, a longtime resident of Ybor City. "It's like we're playing chicken."

Some Ybor City residents are trying to make room by parking half on the grass and half on the road. Others are opting to park in their own front yards.

One Ybor City father says he sees his neighbors struggling to park all the time.

"Every car has this much space," Kevin Acevedo said. "So, it's basically like bumper cars."

Residents told ABC Action News they didn't know how or when to report these crowded parking situations on residential streets, so we went to the City of Tampa for answers.

Transportation leaders say it's illegal for any driver to leave less than ten feet of travel lane width when they are parked or stopped. 

City Transportation leaders said when the department gets these types of complaints, they go out and investigate, and on occasion we install "No Parking" signs for one or both sides of the street.  

The City of Tampa Code, Chapter 15, references parking restrictions and requirements.   

They also said Tampa Police would enforce this code, if it were deemed that a parked vehicle was creating an impassable situation. 

Portions of Ybor City are also monitored by the City Parking Division, as part of the Residential Parking permit that exists in this area, said Jean W. Duncan, P.E., Director Transportation and Stormwater Services.

The Residential Parking permit can be another tool besides the No Parking signs and enforcement of the Parking code, to encourage safe parking in areas with parking challenges, Duncan said.