In an attempt to appease downtown business owners who have complained about declining revenue, the Sarasota City Commission directed staff July 21 to reconfigure the placement of the downtown parking meters.
The changes came after Downtown Sarasota merchants submitted a list of suggestions that proposed keeping meters on streets with heavy parking, while creating some free parking in areas close to the downtown core.
The moves shift more of the meters toward the Sarasota County Judicial Center.
Commissioners also gave staff direction to charge $1 per hour for the meters from Nov. 1 through May 1, with the fee dropping to 50 cents an hour for the other six months.
The changes will be in effect when the meters come back online Oct. 1. Uniform hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for both metered parking and two-hour parking spots will be imposed.
Staff also received direction to create parking passes for downtown business owners and employees, with the provision the passes could be transferable from vehicle to vehicle.
Mayor Suzanne Atwell and Commissioners Paul Caragiulo, Willie Shaw and Shannon Snyder voted for the changes. Although Vice Mayor Terry Turner participated in the discussion, he voted against the modifications, saying he believes the meters should be removed altogether.
The commission still plans to revisit the meters’ placement at some future point.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].
Tthe commissioners voted 4-1 to make the following changes:
Meters will be removed on:
• State Street
• First Street from Lemon Avenue to Orange Avenue
• Gulfstream Avenue
• Cocoanut Avenue
Meters will be installed on:
• Main Street from U.S. 301 to East Street
• Ringling Boulevard from U.S. 301 to School Avenue
• East Street from Ringling Boulevard to Adams Lane
• Adams Lane from East Street to Washington Boulevard
Meters will remain on:
• Main Street from Orange Avenue to Gulfstream Avenue
• Palm Avenue from McAnsh Square to Cocoanut Avenue
• Central Avenue, First Street and Pineapple Avenue at Five Points Park
• Lemon Avenue
• First Street from Central Avenue to Lemon Avenue