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Parking meters won't be enforced 24/7 in downtown West Palm Beach

City rolls back some parking changes after backlash from public
Posted at 7:05 PM, Jul 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-31 21:04:34-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Changes are coming to the city of West Palm Beach's downtown parking.

The changes will affect parking spots from the Amtrak train station all the way east to Flagler Drive after outcry from the public.

Starting Monday, the city is doing away with its 24/7 enforcement. Plus the amount of a ticket has been reduced to $35, down from $37.50.

The hours of parking enforcement have been broken down into three zones.

See a map of the zones here.

Zone A, which includes areas along Clematis Street and The Square, will be enforced between 7 a.m. and midnight. Zone B is enforced between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Zone C is enforced between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The changes come after many visitors and businesses said the 24/7 enforcement was simply driving people away from downtown.

“We have been in communication with downtown merchants, residents and visitors to help facilitate an efficient and equitable parking experience,” said Parking Administrator Ed Davis. “We are grateful for the constructive feedback from the community and are responding accordingly to help maximize parking options for residents, visitors and businesses.”

According to a release from the city:

"As a result of the previously enacted changes to the city's parking rate structure, the rate of citations for expired parking has declined by 25%, on-street parking duration has decreased by 13%, and the frequency of on-street parking for less than 15 minutes has increased by nearly 40%. This preliminary data shows there is now more parking availability for visitors and patrons."

Meanwhile, the rates of the parking meters will stay the same, and there is still no free parking on Sundays or holidays.

"My experience with the parking meters and the parking situation in downtown West Palm Beach is its confusing and it's frustrating," Kris Kemp, who lives in downtown West Palm Beach, said.

People who work in downtown West Palm Beach continue to express their concerns.

"It's extremely annoying to go to work and then sometimes not even make enough money to pay for parking, so sometimes I'm walking out of here negative," Maranda Willis, who works downtown, said. "I've also been booted down here while being at work after working 14-hour shifts, come to my car and there's a boot like on it. Can't leave, can't go anywhere. I know that they, like, offer us parking passes and stuff, but even at the parking pass rate, it's still cheaper to find parking on the street."

Parking officials said the revenue from the meters helps cover things like security, cleaning and maintenance of garages and meters downtown.

The updated stickers haven't come in just yet, but the new hours will appear on the meter screens beginning at midnight.