After weeks of debate, the Miami Parking Authority is launching a new parking program this month in Wynwood, where business owners and visitors pushed back this summer against the new on-street fees and looming enforcement.
Motorists parking on the street will be expected to pay with a credit card for previously free curbside spaces through a smartphone Pay By Phone app. Employees seeking cheaper options will be expected to park on the north and south edges of the neighborhood at a cost of $30 a month. Or anyone can pay $55 a month to park in limited spaces toward the interior and western fringes of the edgy arts district.
Parking on the street will cost $1.50 an hour from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., or a $5 flat fee during special events. Anyone wanting to stay in Wynwood for more than three hours will have to move their car to a new “parking zone.” Enforcement and ticketing of violators won’t start until the second week of October.
The new fees have faced resistance from some business owners and workers, particularly those at tech hubs, saying the changes could cost them more money or jeopardize their safety by forcing them to park in sketchy areas. But Miami Parking Authority officials say the new enforcement in the up-and-coming arts and tech district is being introduced to move traffic now that far more people are visiting area restaurants, bars and galleries.
Other transportation and circulation changes are coming as well, including DecoBike stations, new private lots and even a few new one-way streets.
“In an area that has experienced a fast-paced growth in a short span of time, we believe that the new parking program will improve accessibility, safety and mobility,” Rolando Tapanes, the MPA’s director of planning and development, said in a statement.
The boundaries of the Pay By Phone program include the railroad tracks on the east, Northwest Sixth Avenue on the west, Northwest 20th Street on the south and Northwest 29th Street on the north. The program will not affect residential areas, according to the parking authority.