Sunday, July 22, 2018


ISLA BLANCA PARK -  A GREAT PARK UNDER REALLY BAD MANAGEMENT

Over the last couple of weeks I have been three times.  I have to say it is my favorite beach on SPI.  Clayton's is an awesome beach, but the pavilion is a lot further from the water than at Isla Blanca.  For a lot of people, especially the elderly who like the shade of the pavilion or the handicapped who cannot get on the beach, but want to be able to watch their family Isla Blanca is the better option.

TWO ISSUES - DEALING WITH THE HANDICAPPED AND THE RAW SEWAGE SMELL IN THE FACILITIES

First it is not possible that the number of parking spaces assigned for the handicapped complies with federal law.  There is no doubt in my mind Cameron County is in violation of federal law on this one.

For Cameron County that is not enough they have to go one more step forward to discourage the handicapped from visiting the park.  We were in two cars.  In my friend's car which has the handicapped plaque for his ex who has had two leg surgeries - one just last week- was ordered to move from what appears to be a drop off spot to let her out with her walker.  The security guard would not allow her to get out of the car at the pavilion.  My roommate was told she would just have to walk whatever distance it was from a parking space to the pavilion. 

Just behind him unbeknownst to me what was happening I pulled into another area which appears to be for drop off and begin to unload the cooler and canopy.  The same security guard it appears tells me "no, move on."  I tell him I have disabled plates and a disabled plaque and I have no choice but to leave these heavy things at the pavilion with my friend's daughter and that the county was out of compliance with federal law concerning handicapped parking.  I moved forward doing what I had to do and he kept on telling me to move on.  I ignored him.

About the time I proceeded down the road to a far off parking lot, my friend calls and says they are leaving the park because there is no way to get his ex out of the car and there is no parking.  He tells me to go back around to go get his daughter and my stuff.  At that moment a handicap spot opened up next to the pavilion and I found a spot maybe a 10 minute walk from the pavilion.  So we stayed and had a great time.

His ex got a nice table overlooking the beach and could watcher her grandchildren, while preparing sandwiches and staying with the baby out of the sun.

ISSUE TWO: THE SEWAGE FACILITIES THEY CALL BATHROOMS

My brother and his wife stayed at the park for 10 days and left on July 5th.  They loved SPI.  They found the free bus to be amazing and very on time most of the time.  They loved riding their bikes on some days.  About every other day I went out so they had my car, but we mostly just stayed on the beach at Isla Blanca.  I discovered Pier 19 which they had already eaten at.  I left early on the 4th and got their by 8 a.m. and  although it was walking distance from their slot we drove over.  For the price the amount of food you get, and the quality of the food, it is great for breakfast.

Their camper trailer which they had been driving all over the country as part of their retirement was fully equipped.  But they tried to use the facilities used by those who rent spaces.  They could not.  The stench was unbearable.  I challenged them and said it could not be that bad.  Well it was.  Plus the facilities on the inside appeared abandoned and were filthy beyond imagination.  I used the bathroom in his trailer.

Things were no better at the facilities at the beach pavilion

TWO SUGGESTIONS

They were amazed there was no laundromat at the park for those renting space. With the exception of being on the bay side they said the KOA was a much nicer place.  They said of all the places they stayed at all over the country Isla Blanca was the first without a laundromat.  They found a place down the island which washes clothes by the pound.  They took the bus and left their laundry.

BIKE RACKS

A lot of these retirees use bikes to get around.  The county really needs to install some bike racks at the beach pavilion so the camping guests can ride their bikes to the beach.  The park is not as small as you may think.  

Now I know I will hear, well they are getting to it with the new construction.  Keeping the facilities clean have nothing to do with all of the new construction.  It is about mismanagement and neglect.

On the bike rack it would cost the county very little to buy and install.  

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