Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa to yank meters in Ybor

TAMPA — Time has run out for on-street parking meters in Ybor City.

Over the next few months, the city plans to replace them with free spaces with a two-hour limit, Mayor Pam Iorio announced Tuesday.

The switch will create more than 200 free parking spaces on Ybor City streets and is designed to boost business.

"I think it will help bring more people to Ybor City," Iorio said. "It will help particularly with the lunch and dinner crowds."

People visiting Ybor for meals or shopping trips often end up staying longer than they expected and return to their cars to find tickets, she said.

"It does spoil what otherwise would be a great night," she said.

Vince Pardo, manager of Ybor City Development Corp., said on-street parking enforcement will also become less aggressive.

"The complaints we heard were, "The flag just went up, and I got a ticket. Were they waiting for the flag?' " he said.

Plans call for reducing the number of people monitoring spaces, and providing customer service training to those who remain, he said.

Tom Keating, president of the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce, said people often get tickets because the meters don't work or it isn't clear what days and times the meters are enforced.

"It's just too complicated and people make mistakes," he said. "People come here to have a good time and occasionally they will get a ticket, and that is a bad experience, particularly when you're on vacation."

The city will continue to operate two parking garages and metered lots in the historic district that has evolved into a hub of night clubs, restaurants and shops.

Problems with parking and concerns about crime are the two biggest issues facing economic development in Ybor City, Keating said.

"Business in Ybor is slow. Very slow," said Carrie West, a member of the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce and owner of MC Film Festival, a gift shop on 15th Street at Eighth Avenue. "We're just trying to get people motivated to come down here."

He welcomed Iorio's announcement about the elimination of the parking meters.

"We're dancing in the streets right now," he said. "This is going to help our businesses a lot."

West said customers often drop a quarter in a meter, thinking they'll be in his store for just 20 minutes or so, but then linger and end up with a parking ticket.

Sharon Rose, owner of the wearable art store Mermaid's Slipper on 19th Street, said she has had similar complaints.

"My customers have gotten tickets just because they've run in to get a quarter from me and by the time they get back out they have a ticket," she said.

Iorio said eliminating the meters will cost the city about $200,000 a year, but the revenue should be made up in part by reducing parking enforcement personnel in Ybor City.

"The real key here is the business owners have got to have a solid message to their employees that they can't park there," she said. "As long as they do that, this will be successful."

Janet Zink can be reached at or (813) 226-3401.

Tampa to yank meters in Ybor 03/18/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 8:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii


    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan


    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville


    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that ‘both sides” bore blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer


    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry


    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.