Beginning in the spring, drivers will have to pay to park in more than 600 downtown parking spaces.
The City Commission last night approved a $510,000 contract with contractor Duncan Industries to install parking meters by May. The high-tech meters strategically placed downtown will allow for coin, credit-card and even cell-phone payment.
The meters will be installed within a quarter-mile of three public parking garages — Palm Avenue garage, Second Street garage at Whole Foods and Ringling Boulevard garage across from the police department and sheriff’s office.
The theory behind placing meters near the garages is to encourage more people, especially downtown employees, to use the parking structures and leave the on-street spaces for diners and shoppers.
Metered parking is believed to increase turnover in those spaces, which allows those consumers to more easily find an open spot.
The commission will discuss next month how much the meters will charge and how long a driver can park in a single space.
Contact Robin Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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