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Complaints pay off for Dade City's parking spots

DADE CITY — It never hurts to complain.

After residents and merchants caused an uproar about the Florida Department of Transportation's plan to eliminate 17 parking spots from downtown, state officials tweaked their plans.

The new tally of lost parking spots: one.

Monday, the FDOT begins a six-month makeover of Meridian Avenue, the portion of State Road 52 that runs through downtown.

Plans called for a new bike lane and multiuse path along sections of the road. But to accommodate the paths, the FDOT wanted to switch some of the city's street parking from angular to parallel, knocking out 17 spots in a downtown already pinched for parking.

At an April 3 public meeting, about 30 angry residents hollered at state officials that losing that many spots would hurt business in Dade City's popular downtown district.

Friday, city officials met with the FDOT and learned the new figure.

"They found a way to make it work," said Commissioner Scott Black.

The FDOT kept most of the slanted spots, but narrowed the planned width of parking spaces from 9 to 8 feet so they could accommodate the bike lane and retain as many spots as possible.

Currently, the downtown parking spots are 7 1/2 to 9 feet wide.

Construction will take place between 7:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. in residential areas. Downtown traffic will not be affected during the day and no lane closures will occur during weekends, holidays or special events.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (352) 521-6518.

Complaints pay off for Dade City's parking spots 04/16/08 [Last modified: Thursday, April 17, 2008 9:53am]
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