Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg candidates weigh in on prickly parking issue

Kim Bregman tickets a car downtown on June 10. St. Petersburg recently moved to standardize meter enforcement from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. seven days a week, but an uproar quashed that plan.

KATHLEEN FLYNN | Times

Kim Bregman tickets a car downtown on June 10. St. Petersburg recently moved to standardize meter enforcement from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. seven days a week, but an uproar quashed that plan.

ST. PETERSBURG — You have dinner. Enjoy a show. It's fun. Then the night sours.

You've find a small green envelope with a $25 fine waiting for you back at your car. St. Petersburg's vigilant parking enforcement officers have struck again.

Parking enforcement is a heated topic downtown. When city officials recently tried to expand enforcement hours, complaints flooded into City Hall.

The debate is also evident in the varying policy promises staked out by the 10 candidates for mayor.

Former City Council member Kathleen Ford, 52, promised to eliminate all parking meters if she is elected mayor. Ford said her administration would revert to time-limited parking. For example, before Mayor Rick Baker added parking meters to Beach Drive in 2008, residents could park for free for a maximum of 90 minutes.

Former council member Bill Foster, 46, said he would require meters to be enforced from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. He would eliminate meter enforcement at night and during the weekends as long as downtown businesses did not object.

Business owner Scott Wagman, 56, said he would enforce uniform parking hours throughout downtown. Right now, some meters are enforced through 6 p.m., and others through 11 p.m. He would stop enforcement at 6 or 7 p.m. He would also offer change machines so that patrons can easily feed the meters.

Council member Jamie Bennett, 57, said he would extend the maximum parking time from two hours to three hours. "The parking meters are necessary to help keep people moving," he said.

Former council member Larry Williams, 64, said he would heavily consider eliminating the parking meters, but wouldn't promise to do so without more information. "I hate the parking meters, and everyone I know hates the parking meters," he said.

Student Richard Eldridge, 47, said he would eliminate the parking meters.

Political activist Ed Helm, 64, said parking should not be free because then there wouldn't be enough available spaces to go around.

Restaurateur John Warren, 60, said he would keep parking meters, but only under a transformed downtown parking plan that included additional parking lots. He would ask business owners if parking enforcement hours need to be tweaked.

Corporate executive Deveron Gibbons, 36, said he would consider standardizing enforcement hours. Right now, they vary from street to street.

He said he would not enforce meters after 6 p.m.

Advocate for the homeless Paul Congemi, 52, declined to comment.

Cristina Silva can be reached at (727) 893-8846 or csilva@sptimes.com.

Parking

by the numbers

1,450 Parking meters in St. Petersburg, all downtown.

$526,000

Parking meter revenue from October through April.

$1.3 million Parking garage revenue from October through April.

$1 Cost per hour in city garages (maximum of $6 a day).

$0.50 Cost per hour to park at meters.

St. Petersburg candidates weigh in on prickly parking issue 08/04/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 1:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. GOP's challenge: Finding votes for Senate health care bill (w/video)

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has finally unwrapped his plan for dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law. Now comes his next challenge — persuading enough Republicans to back the measure and avert a defeat that could be shattering for President Donald Trump and the GOP.

  2. Harmeling first woman to receive lifetime honor at Sneaker Soiree in Tampa

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the last quarter-century, she has combined passion and meticulousness to keep the Gasparilla Distance Classic humming and evolving. Indefatigable and detailed, Susan Harmeling braces for every race-weekend contingency.

    Susan Harmeling gives a speech after accepting an award  during the annual Sneaker Soiree, at TPepin's Hospitality Centre, Thursday, June 22, 2017.
  3. Manslaughter charges eyed in deadly London fire sparked by refrigerator

    World

    LONDON — Manslaughter charges are among the offenses under consideration in the devastating Grenfell Tower blaze that killed 79 people, London police said Friday.

    A view of part of the Burnham residential tower on the Chalcots Estate showing the bottom section of the building after cladding was removed, in the borough of Camden, north London, Thursday, June 22, 2017. Tests so far have found that at least three high-rise apartment buildings in the U.K. have flammable external panels like the ones believed to have contributed to a fire that killed 79 people in London, Britain's government said Thursday. The local council in Camden, a borough of London, removed cladding from one of its buildings for further testing after tests they commissioned showed some of their panels were of the flammable variety "and not the ones they ordered." It was unclear whether the Camden example was one of the three mentioned by the government. [Associated Press]
  4. PolitiFact: 6 questions about the Senate health care bill and transparency

    Perspective

    Now that a Senate health care bill has been unveiled, senators will be jousting over its provisions to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks following a closed-door strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington on June 20. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  5. Bicylist critically injured in crash involving SUV on Bayside Bridge

    Accidents

    A bicyclist was critically injured Friday morning when a driver drifted into his lane and struck him on the Bayside Bridge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.