Parking meter issue heating up in downtown Delray Beach
A city-sponsored parking study recommends metered spots in Downtown Delray Beach, much to the chagrin of some business owners and employees who work in East Atlantic Avenue’s central business district.
But city officials say the plan is hardly a done deal. One official noted recently that the City Commission has yet to view the Delray Beach Parking Management Plan, which cost $98,000 and was conducted by Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.
In a letter to city engineer Randal Krejcarek and parking management specialist Scott Aronson, two Kimley-Horn analysts note that “implementation of the recommended parking best management practices will help use parking as a tool for economic development and redevelopment.”
What might that “tool for economic development” cost those who frequent East Atlantic Avenue’s restaurants, stores and boutiques?
According to the 82-page report, parking in Downtown Delray Beach should be raised to about $1.25 an hour and enforced using a system made up of about 640 parking meters.
The estimated revenue from the parking meter system would be about $29,000 weekly, or about $1.2 million annually. Kimley-Horn estimates it would cost the city about $1.96 million to install the system.
Krejcarek said Delray Beach officials want to know more about the maintenance of a parking meter system before considering different options.
“Meters may be the answer, meters may not,” he said. “We need to support the parking infrastructure and generate money to defray the costs of the parking amenities.
“There may be other options. We’re looking into that and will submit that information to future boards studying the subject.”
Carol De Young is the manager at Lady Katie, a store located at 417 E. Atlantic Ave. that specializes in home décor. There are several on-street parking spaces just south of Katie’s storefront. New owner Gary Lustberg has allowed De Young to put signs in the store’s window objecting to metered parking spots. De Young said meters would definitely hurt business.
“People come from Miami and West Palm Beach so they can shop and not worry about monitoring and feeding money to a parking meter,” she said. “If people get a ticket, they’re not coming back.”
POSTED IN: None
"No Parking Meters on Atlantic Avenue" signs have been attached to storefronts, structures near on-street parking spots, and here attached to a sidewalk light pole near the intersection of East Atlantic and Southeast Fifth avenues.