Public Information Officer Mary Swaney
PARKING ENFORCEMENT AT THE FILLS
Vehicle access is allowed at marked parking areas only
For those not already familiar with this topic, the area called the Fills is the roadway and adjacent land along US 1 from approximately Mile Marker 77.5 to 79.8 connecting Upper Matecumbe and Lower Matecumbe Keys with the highway traversing Tea Table Key, Indian Key, and Lignumvitae Key Fills and the connecting bridges. The number of people gathering at the Fills was once again out of control last weekend with vehicles parked along the shoreline and on the bike path, and dangerous conditions were created by those pulling on and off the highway and running across the road through heavy traffic. As the number of people at the Fills rise, so does the amount of trash, human waste, shoreline damage and human-made trails through the mangroves.
The Village is reimplementing the measures from the summer of 2019 to control the amount of parking and areas of safe access on the Fills. On Tea Table and Lignumvitae Keys, parking is allowed only on the four areas with paved driveway aprons. Space is available for 15 to 18 passenger vehicles in each of the four areas. Visitors can walk from the parking areas to their desired picnic spots. At the Indian Key Boat Ramp, only vehicles with trailers may park in parking lot; limited spaces are available.
No parking signs are in place and vehicular access to no parking areas is blocked with a series of 900-pound barriers. Cones are placed near the bike path with ropes or tape to restrict vehicles from entering the no parking areas and increased numbers of Village staff will be in place to manage traffic in the area, inform people when the parking areas have reached capacity and remove trash.
In total, there are approximately 90 parking spaces available on the Fills. Parking restrictions will be enforced with citations and towing when necessary.
In addition to the designated parking and added staffing, portable toilets are in place along the three Fills.
To address the trash problem, large trash drums are in place along the Fills for convenient access to the public. The trash drums will be emptied regularly by the Islamorada Public Works Department.
All these solutions were initially implemented at the beginning of the July 4th holiday in 2019. The measures were effectiveness and generally well received by the public.
Visitors are asked to be conscious of the fragile shoreline along the fills, to place all trash in the trash cans provided and are reminded that no tents with sides may be erected. Please enjoy the area safely without damage to the environment.