Letter to City Clerk re: parking

LETTERS

Editor’s note: This letter is reprinted with permission by its author regarding a solution to the beach side parking situation.

From: Robert Jones
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2018 11:42 AM
To: Bursick, Tammy
Subject: Ocean Drive Parking Solutions

Please forward this email to Council Member Young and Laura Moss’ official email box.

Dear Council Members Young and Moss,

I have listened with great interest to the Council discussion concerning Ocean Drive parking solutions.  Clearly, this is not an easy challenge to solve, given the competing interests of business owners, patrons, beach goers and employees, as well as the high costs of adding parking capacity and enforcement.

Recently, I have been made aware of a solution used by the City of Stuart that Vero Beach should seriously consider.  As I understand it, there is a three hour/day time limit for parking anywhere in the downtown area adjacent to businesses, as well as increasingly stiff fines for repeat violators.  Patrol officers take periodic pictures of license plates, which are sent to a system that detects day-long violations, bills the offender and tracks the life cycle of the citation and violation history.  It solves the problem of people skirting regulations by moving cars to other spots and effectively forces employees and full-day beach goers not to park in zones designated for shop and restaurant patrons.  This solution avoids a significant multi-year commitment to a kiosk system, does not seem to place a major operational burden on City staff and probably could be implemented this year before the busy season  [see links below]

Clearly, Vero will not fully solve the parking challenge without adding appropriate parking capacity for employees.  I was intrigued by Ocean Grill owner Mark Tipson’s offer to build a multi-level parking structure at his expense on the parking lot he owns just west of his restaurant.  That central location would seem ideal for employees at most establishments in the beach business district.

Thanks for considering and passing these thoughts on if you feel appropriate.

Gratefully,

Bob Jones

Vito Lorenzo, City of Stuart Police Department Parking/Code Enforcement:  vlorenzo@ci.stuart.fl.us

2 comments

  1. Hi Milt.

    Mr. Jones makes a good argument.

    It’s hard for me to get my mind around the image of a poor, working person receiving a hefty ticket in the mail from the city. As we know, some people, through laziness or poverty, will not pay the tickets. Then where are we? We create yet another list that will live on on government and law enforcement computers to dog these people throughout their lives.

    I would much rather see the financial burden, if any, fall on the merchants.

    Apart from that, I would support Mr. Jones’ position, so long as it is limited to high season during business hours.

    Alternatively, we could change the signs on the beach to read “two hours per day,” and let our parking enforcement officer deal with enforcing it.

    Tough problem.

    Thanks. Nick

  2. It makes sense to me that the parking restrictions (e.g., 2-3 hours maximum per day) would be limited to times and seasons when there is a parking problem. Of course this adds some communication complexity to assure that the timing of restrictions is known.

    It would seem that the “Stuart” systems enables that because it should not require a major capital outlay (whether by the City or a vendor) that would need to be recovered via maximizing parking fees, as would be the case with kiosk systems.

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