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Downtown parking program begins week of July 8

Post Date:07/08/2019 10:55 AM

Contact:  Jan Thornburg, Sr. Communications Manager  941-954-2613
                  Jan.Thornburg@SarasotaFL.gov

 

Sarasota, FL:   Featuring improved access to the most desirable on-street parking spaces, the new downtown parking program will begin the week Monday, July 8 as the Parking Operations Division rolls out the Judicial Parking District followed by the Downtown Parking District.  

Thousands of free on-street parking spaces will remain around downtown.  Parking at the State Street Garage and Palm Avenue Garage will remain free for two hours.

Parking Districts:

Judicial Parking District:

  • Location:  Ringling Boulevard from Washington Boulevard to School Avenue; Main Street between Washington Boulevard and School Avenue
  • Rate:  $1.50 per hour
  • Hours of enforcement:  Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 Downtown Parking District:

  • Location:  Main Street from Washington Boulevard to Gulf Stream Avenue; Palm Avenue from Ringling Boulevard to Cocoanut Avenue.
  • Rate:  $1.50 per hour
  • Hours of enforcement:  Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

The Downtown Parking District also includes the First Street Lot.  The parking rate in the surface lot is $1.00 per hour Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

For a quick stop -- perhaps for a cup of coffee or a merchant errand -- the first ten minutes of paid parking will be complimentary when entering the vehicle license plate number at a Parking, Downtown Parking Mapnearby pay station.

A map detailing downtown parking is available online at SarasotaFL.Gov/Parking.  Brochures with the map have been provided to downtown merchants for distribution.

“The Downtown parking program will increase access to prime parking spaces, improve turnover, create shorter walking distances to restaurants and stores and cut down on vehicles cruising around in search of parking,” said Parking Manager Mark Lyons.  “Over the past seven years, the Parking Division has worked diligently to design a program that is simple and sustainable.  This plan has been endorsed by the Parking Advisory Committee (comprised of merchants, property owners and residents), downtown business associations, Downtown Improvement District, urban planners and parking consultants.”

Forty-three pay stations and 35 traditional pole mount meters are installed in the parking districts.  Visitors can pay by credit card, debit card, coins or ParkMobile app (details below). The machines are the same user-friendly style as those installed earlier this year in the St. Armands Parking District. 

 To help with the parking meter selection process, a variety of models was tested over a period of time by visitors who were asked to rank the interface and ease of use. The pay station and pole-mount models were selected based on considerable public input and consensus that they are the most user-friendly technology available. 

 “They’re as easy to use as an ATM machine,” said Lyons.  “The display screen is bright, and the instructions are simple to follow. Just enter your license tag (you may want to take a picture of it with your cell phone so it’s readily available) and the amount of time you want to stay.  Once you’ve paid, there’s no need to return to the car to place a receipt on the dashboard.  Or you can skip going to the machine all together and pay by app with your cell phone.”

 As a courtesy to visitors and to support downtown merchants, a “One Time Ticket Waiver” will be offered.  A parking ticket for expired time will be waived when a receipt of $25 or greater from a downtown business is presented to the Parking Operations Division within 14 days. To be eligible, the ticket must be the first for the person and vehicle in the City of Sarasota and the business receipt must be issued the same day as the parking ticket.

For ease and convenience, visitors can use the ParkMobile app and pay from a mobile device.  Once registered in the ParkMobile system, simply enter the parking zone posted on street signs and select the duration of time.  Reminders can be sent when your parking session nears expiration and time can be extended via the app.

ParkMobile is used in many cities throughout Florida including Tampa, St. Petersburg, West Palm Beach, Miami Beach, Delray Beach, Hollywood and Sarasota.  Individuals who already have a ParkMobile account may use that same account and do not have to re-register.   Watch a “Using ParkMobile App” video.   A small ParkMobile fee is applied for each mobile transaction.

 Frequently Asked Questions about the paid parking program are posted on SarasotaFL.Gov/Parking

 For more information visit SarasotaFL.Gov/Parking or contact the Parking Division office:  941-954-7057.

 

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About the City of Sarasota:  Distinguished by U.S. News and World Report as the 18th Best Place to Live in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 55,000 year-round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles.  Learn more about us at www.SarasotaFL.Gov