Parking upgrades could be on the way for downtown

By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
December 7, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The City of Tallahassee may consider upgrades to its downtown parking in the coming year.

According to a city presentation made by Judy Donahoe, the City's Director of Real Estate, to the Downtown Improvement Authority last month, there are four parking garages in the downtown and more than 1,000 metered parking spaces.

However, there have been some issues identified.

Those include old equipment which do not allow people to pay by credit card or app; the inability to make reservations; no compatibility with other parking systems throughout the city; parking space turnover is limited as people are “feeding the meters”; people have difficulty finding open spaces; and there is no occupancy information.

Residents are quick to notice many of these issues.

"A lot of times it's hard to find a parking spot. Then you're late while feeding the meter. You come out, they put a ticket on your car. Sometimes they put a ticket when there's time left on the meter. Which that happened to me twice,” said Ronald Brown, who works downtown.

Moving forward, staff plan to make several recommendations to the city commission. Those include an increase in selected parking rates, passenger pickup in commercial loading zones and a mobile app vendor with the ability for residents to pay by cell phone and check the availability of spaces.

They’ll also push to put out a request for proposals for new parking garage equipment, new on-street parking equipment and electric vehicle charging stations.

Staff are still gathering feedback from local stakeholders. They plan to present the information to the commission during a January meeting.

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