New bus grid angers Flori De Leon residents
The makeover of Williams Park from the city's bus depot to-- city tastemakers hope--- a symbol of St. Petersburg's renaissance has received plenty of positive press.
But not everyone is applauding.
The new grid system that replaced the bus stops that used to ring Williams Park (before their official Valentine's Day removal) has upset the residents of the Flori de Leon, an over-55 co-op, at 130 Fourth Ave. N.
Their beef? A new bus stop on the south side of Fourth Avenue N and First Street N has removed seven parking spaces, including a disabled parking space.
The residents didn't know this change was coming, according to resident Matthew Rosen in an email to the Tampa Bay Times.
The lost parking spaces means elderly residents have to walk farther with groceries, Rosen said.
Making matters worse, the Flori De Leon doesn't have off-street parking for its 100 or so residents.
So far a petition to remove the bus stop has gathered 44 signatures. The residents plan to address the City Council at its Thursday meeting.
PSTA spokeswoman Ashlie Handy said extensive public engagement and planning had gone into the new system.
"The stops weren't picked randomly," Handy said. But, she said, the transit agency would listen to complaints and "keep our ears open."
Still, the city is planning to replace at least one disabled-access spot around the corner on First Street N, just to the south of the old spot, said Evan Mory, the city's transportation director.
The city is also hoping to secure at least one more disabled parking space nearby for the residents, Mory said.