Boaters frustrated over parking at city's only public boat ramp

Boaters say spaces meant for them are being taken by restaurant patrons

By Ashley Spicer - Reporter, anchor, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Beach leaders may step up enforcement at the Mike McCue park and boat ramp. Boaters say they are frustrated because parking spots marked for boats and trailers are being taken by people going to eat at the popular Safe Harbor restaurant.

"The parking has always been kinda bad, especially on hot nice weekends. Now that the restaurant opened, it's getting really bad," boater Paul Shaffer said.

Safe Harbor is known for its delicious fresh seafood and beautiful location, but anglers are aggravated by the restaurant's patrons gobbling up their designated parking spots. Those are spaces they say they need for their long trailers.

"There was probably six or seven that were for the boats and there were cars parked in them," said fisherman Jonathan Kenny. "This is a small boat ramp so every spot counts. When you see a car parked where it shouldn't be and you have a trailer and  have to park a mile down the road it's kind of a pain."

Many boaters say they haven't noticed police giving out parking citations unless someone who shouldn't parks in a handicapped spot.

Safe Harbor has designated parking spaces but anglers say adding more parking would help.

There is a big field in the back that could be used for extra parking if the marina would open it up.

Boaters say they love the restaurant but hope the city can come up with a solution to the parking crunch.

Safe Harbor's General Manager told News4Jax in a statement, "We appreciate the city's efforts. Whatever the city can do, Safe Harbor will back them. Safe Harbor will do anything they can do to help make parking easier for patrons and boaters."

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.