We’ve all been there, sitting in our car fuming trying to pull into or out of an impossibly bad parking lot.
At some, the ingresses are so tight you think you might need to do a 360 to pull in. At others, the spaces are so small and so close together that it’s a miracle you can get in and out without damaging your and someone else’s car. At still others, the pavement is so poor you’d think it spent a winter up north being salted because of snow.
So we asked: What are the Keys’ worst parking lots? Boy, we struck a nerve. Here are many residents’ takes on their personal parking nightmares.
Kevin Dunleavy says by far the worst lot is at Publix at 2900 N. Roosevelt Blvd. in Key West (the old Albertsons).
“Man that place will drive a person crazy! ... There is way too much going on with traffic and pedestrians all coming together at the entrance area to the store, so you already are on edge before you’ve even looked for a parking space.
“The parking lot is a ****show of people coming and going, and walking and parking and pulling out and pushing carts and returning carts and whatnot. When you finally see a spot, you have to hope that guy coming from the other direction doesn’t take it first. Then, as you pull in you realize it’s more narrow that the average space. Hopefully that car next to you treats you right.
“After shopping and checking out, you are now part of those masses crossing in front of all the cars entering to shop at Publix and Kmart etc. Watch out. Meanwhile, at the old Publix [3316 N. Roosevelt], the parking lot is one way each way (ahhhh), with large spaces and easy interaction between cars and pedestrians. Love!”
Judie Lipner Klitenick has issues with the lot at 2750 N. Roosevelt, where Body Zone and Ross Dress for Less are in Key West: “Worst planned parking I’ve ever seen. Every turn is a head-on waiting to happen.”
Patricia Conway Biagi can’t deal with the lot housing the main Marathon post office around mile marker 50. She says it’s “hard to back out of a space as apparently most drivers have not read the driving manual lately or if ever. Law says yield to car backing out of a parking space. You can see them but they can’t always see you.”
At the lot housing the other Marathon post office, in the Town Square Mall at 11400 Overseas Highway, Lee Lapid says there are three issues: “The two growing potholes in front of the post office, not enough width space (cannot open car doors) and the handicap space in front of Frank’s Grill is waaaay too narrow.”
Lots of people consider the parking lot at Trade Winds Plaza at mile marker 104.1 to be the worst.
Kelly Reid says “I was just there and thinking they should be reported for undersizing the spots. Some are angle and others are 90 degrees, impossible turning radius.”
Patty Kraft Becker agrees: “Publix in Key Largo at the Trade Winds Plaza. Way too tight for an average car to park without doing a three-point turn.”
Nicole Lane Simons says “the straight parking spots, first row, Trade Winds Plaza near Bealls and the straight spots at Publix! So small, not enough room for even a compact vehicle!”
John Godsey is direct and to the point: “Publix Key Largo is the worst ever.”
At another supermarket, Winn-Dixie on Big Pine Key, Maria Quick Ligon says “it used to be good, nice shade trees and all, now it is a nightmare.”
Donna Christian Hart says anywhere on Big Pine is terrible for parking and Hurricane Irma is the reason: “Neighborhoods on Big Pine Key. Can you say debris?”
Back in the Middle Keys, Linda Fatora says the worst is the “old Walgreens in Marathon. Planner messed up” at that lot at U.S. 1 and 107th Street.
In fact, says “Mark N Tracy Brown,” “Most of Marathon’s parking lots are a train wreck. Not to mention the curbside slops all put in ***backwards, then fixed (the wrong way again).”
Ed Martin says the U.S. 1 curve where the OceanView Inn and Sports Pub at mile marker 84.5 in Islamorada sits is a problem. If pulling out of the OV, “I’d hate to have to make a left out of there.”
Joe Bracciale says he especially hates “the empty ones that say ‘no parking.’ ”
Tim Janecyk might have the biggest beef: He says one particular lot in Key West deprives him of nap time: “When I’m trying to sleep one off in the municipal garage over there, the roosters wake me up at 3 or 4 a.m., way before sunrise. They need to soundproof that lot.”
Larry Kahn: 305-440-3218