Miami commissioners tweaked a proposal on Thursday to raise parking rates citywide so Miami residents who register with the city don’t have to pay the higher prices.
The Miami Parking Authority had asked the City Commission to approve citywide increases in rates for public parking lots, garages and curbside spots. The authority proposed hiking hourly rates and permits, with the most in-demand neighborhoods — Wynwood, Brickell, and the Design District — seeing the largest increases.
Some commissioners opposed the plan unless residents were insulated from the increases.
In a preliminary vote Thursday, commissioners unanimously approved an altered plan where residents who register with the city through the PayByPhone mobile payment system will continue to pay existing parking rates. Non-residents would pay the higher fees. Commissioners will consider the amended ordinance at its next meeting Sept. 27.
“Take the existing $1.75 rate, and that would be what the residents pay,” Noriega said after the vote. “Anybody that isn’t registered as a resident would then pay the increased rate.”
Commissioners Willy Gort and Manolo Reyes urged Noriega to educate residents on how to use the PayByPhone system, which can be used either through a smartphone app or by dialing the system’s number. Noriega pledged to hold registration events across the city to make sure residents know about the discount.
“We’re going to work through every single commission office to do that,” Noriega told reporters. “They are the mechanism, the best resource for us to go into the comedores, to go into the senior centers, to go into the homeowners’ associations to sit with them and literally register people right there.”
Under the initial proposed ordinance, the hourly rate for spots in Wynwood would jump from $1.25 to $3, from $1.75 to $3.25 in the Design District and from $2 to $3.25 in Brickell. Monthly permits would also become more expensive. The monthly rate would jump from $70 to $90 in Coconut Grove, Omni/Edgewater and around Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The proposal drew opposition from a few commissioners who said residents should not have to deal with rate increases. Reyes emphasized that seniors and low-income residents in several neighborhoods would struggle to pay the higher rates as they travel within the city. He also said if the authority needs more revenue, enforcement should be a priority.
“I think they need to do more enforcement,” Reyes told the Miami Herald.
Before the vote, an attorney representing the Design District asked the city to delay the parking increase so business owners in the district could have input.
“We would recommend deferring this item to give stakeholders an opportunity to engage on the proposed parking legislation,” said Marissa Amuial, of Akerman.
Commissioners will consider a final ordinance Sept. 27.