Although the city is a little behind schedule, it still aims to implement paid parking through much of downtown by October.
Potential vendors were notified this week that they could start bidding on the project. Susan Dodd, the city’s parking manager, said she had hoped to put that request out last month, but she’s still optimistic the October target can still be met.
The city plans to ask the vendors who respond if it would be better to go with double-headed meters placed every two parking spaces or a pay station that would service several stations.
About 700 parking spaces on Main Street, First Street, State Street, Palm Avenue, Lemon Avenue, Osprey Avenue, Pineapple Avenue, Links Avenue, Ringling Boulevard McAnsh Square and Adams Lane will be converted to metered parking.
Although the City Commission has yet to voice its opinion, Dodd is considering a charge of $1 per hour.
Also still under discussion is whether to allow a grace period in which warning tickets would be issued until residents and tourists are used to the paid-parking system.
One possibility Dodd raised is to issue $1 warning tickets to all first-time offenders. The warning tickets could be issued for a set period of time, such as three months. There could also be a permanent warning-ticket program, because the city can track license plate numbers to see who is a first-time offender and who has already received a warning.
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