Do you remember your parents telling you when you kept whining about the same thing over and over that you sounded like a broken record?

I remember it well, and Mardi Gras’ first weekend seawall parking falls into this category.

I’m frankly glad the city council is considering an ordinance to put this issue to rest once and for all. At least we won’t have to listen to that broken record anymore.

The problem is the second part of the consideration. Charging $250 for folks to park early. I listened intently to the online video from the city’s website of city council’s special session Jan. 9 discussing this issue. Take a listen and decide.

These are my feelings about this issue: Worries expressed were about “losing all the seawall parking spots” possibly a week ahead of time and “it’s not fair.” Early parking usually starts around Tuesday. Eventually, the parking spots are going to be gone anyway, and the claim of “fairness” won’t apply. There simply are not enough spots to accommodate all of the Mardi Gras revelers, so it’s first come, first serve, no matter when the parking begins. These are primarily Galveston residents. And so what if they want to get up there a little early? So what? Why do tax paying residents have to be penalized?

Now, as far as the “gray water” from the RVs running across the seawall because of lack of sewer hookup, that is just plain ludicrous. If that was happening and resulting in a foul stench and unsanitary conditions, do you think the city officials would have allowed that to go on for all these years?

Brian Maxwell, if you really have many reasons to not like Mardi Gras, as you stated in the special session, I feel sorry for you. You seem to be missing the whole point, especially of the first weekend. The seawall parades and the parking up there are Galveston residents coming together. It’s attended by families and neighbors and friends celebrating the season. It’s just good, clean fun for all ages, and it seems that Maxwell wants to make things difficult for the city residents. I think even if people pay the $250 fine, he won’t be happy.

Finally, when is overnight seawall parking during the other 51 weeks of the year going to be enforced? There has been an RV parked on 13th Street and Seawall Boulevard, alternating sides of the street every night, since December. It obviously hasn’t ever been ticketed or towed.

In the free seawall parking spaces between 69th and 81st streets, people in cars and trucks have literally moved in. They sleep in their cars, leave the doors open for ventilation and hang their clothes over the doors to dry. Again, no ticketing or towing. But let’s be sure to punish Mardi Gras fans.

Please form your own opinion and express it to your city council representative before they vote on this nonsense Jan. 24.

Debbie Gremillion lives in Galveston.

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(15) comments

Terry Moore

I hope it passes because they do get there too early in the week. They block the view and I was almost killed by a big waste truck down the seawall because he couldn't see past the RVs and I couldn't see him either.

Kelly Naschke

Charge them. It's a luxury to monopolize parking...not a right.

Dan Freeman

Why not offer cheap parking on the north side of the Seawall Blvd and bar south side parking.

Terry Moore

It was the north side where businesses have driveways that the large RV blocks the view trying to exit a business. It is very dangerous. At least with regular size vehicles you can see around them.

City Manager

Keep in mind....the city does not desire to issue ANY TICKETS OR FINES and no one should have to pay any as long as the abide by the rules, which still allows them to park their RV two days prior to any parade taking place.

The real issue is most honest folks just want to go see the parades and have a good time. I am always one of those myself and have parked my RV up there as well in the past. I always abided by the dates the city set forth when they would allow it. Unfortunately for the law abiding folks, by the time they got there, those that disregarded the allowed rules by the city had taken most of the spots, creating frustration.

Really just a matter of following the rules, having a good time, and enjoying mardi gras with your neighbors. If you do that, the only cost you will incur is the daily parking fee of $8 or even less if you have an annual pass. A bargain to have a place to legally park with a Gulf view and a string of awesome parades.

Debbie Gremillion

So you are implying that if everyone waits until the allowed time to go park, there won't be any problems. Wrong. Someone ultimately will not get a spot. It is just a supply and demand issue that will not be rectified by a set date and time. And ticketing will not change that.

City Manager

So its ok to break the law so you get a spot and the honest guy following the rules does not. Interesting analogy.

Truly not about making sure anyone has a spot.....however it certainly is about following local and state laws as it pertains to beach user fees and access as well enforcing our codes and ordinances (Such as that of curb monopolization) so those that choose to follow the law are not overshadowed or burdened by those who don't.

And for the record....I love Mardi Gras, always have. From being in a Krewe to never missing a Galveston parade. See you there!

George Croix

Yet, Brian, unless the city does, they'll just continue to get the 'ol "You're #1 wave",,,
You're already being told that no matter what rules will be disobeyed because of supply and demand, in the face of a 250 buck fine.
SO, make it 1000 bucks, and ENFORCE it, and any fine of any amount not paid ON SITE gets the RV, whatever, towed away, with the owner responsible for that cost, too. Get a Square credit card swiper or two....
That should curl a few fingers down...IF some stones are used.... and DO it.
Or, forget the whole thing, and just let people continue to do what they want...as has already been said.........
Simple supply and demand....If you don't demand compliance, you WILL get a supply of non-compliance....

City Manager

It will be enforced if passed by council. If the fines don't work, the city retains its right to tow as well as looking at increased fines in future years as well.

Thanks George! Hope you can make it down for the parades.....never a disappointment.

Jarvis Buckley

Gray water why it may be illegal doesn't have a smell. It's from your shower or your sink. It's the black water release that you should be hauled off to jail for. There is justification in my mind to charge for RV parking along the Seawall . If you can't afford the fees park your $250,000 pushers at Walmart . Everything comes with a price. There's a lot of cleanup after the parades. The locals foot the bill.
Council is right to increase the fee.

Debbie Gremillion

City Manager, it’s never OK to break the law, but we’re not talking about harden criminals here. Make your laws and penalize your citizens on what is supposed to be a celebratory time of year, but continue to allow the regular squatters on the Seawall who are parked illegally under the existing ordinances and don’t suffer any consequences, fines or towing. The RV on 13th & Seawall is still there, even as I write this.

George Croix

"..the regular squatters on the Seawall who are parked illegally under the existing ordinances and don’t suffer any consequences..."
Now THAT, imo, IS a point.
Rules/regs/laws should be enforced always as well as possible....

But, imo again, the breaking-the-law-vs-hardened-criminal tack is, while sounding reasonable on the surface, not an issue, here, as the subject is parking, not felony activity.
IMO, again, though, arguments in favor of 'relaxing' a set law/rule/ordinance/whatever for some times/people is a little like trying to argue being just a little bit pregnant.....

Brian Maxwell

I checked with PD and they watch him move it each evening to skirt the ordinance. If caught there between 3-5am he will be ticketed or towed. If you have seen it there unmoved between 3-5am please let us know or call PD immediately.

It is so important to take the time to educate yourself on the ordinance and continue to ask questions. You will find many times that things are not as they seem.

Thanks

George Croix

Thanks, Brian.
Yet another example of why it's important to get as much info as possible.....

Debbie Gremillion

I find that not much is as it seems.

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