Miami Beach

Miami Beach tinkers with residential parking rules

Miami Beach is tightening parking restrictions in some residential neighborhoods in an effort to keep non-residents from lining the streets during the day.

The parking department has started limiting daytime parking in neighborhoods to two hours for those that don’t have resident permits or visitor hang-tags. Residents have complained that construction workers, beach-goers and other daytime visitors have taken up residential spots during the hours when parking isn’t restricted in some neighborhoods, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In some other neighborhoods, parking will remain restricted to residents and visitors with permits 24 hours a day, unless the neighborhoods ask to switch to the new system.

With the change, vehicles that have residential parking permits or visitor hang-tags are exempt from the time limit. All other vehicles could get towed.

Currently, residential areas have parking restrictions between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. and 24 hours on weekends and holidays. The new approach comes after residents have complained of people parking to walk to nearby commercial districts, as well as contractors and their employees, clogging the streets during the day.

According to a Sept. 15 memo to the City Commission, City Manager Jimmy Morales said two neighborhoods that didn’t have any permit restrictions have already had fewer issues after the two-hour limit was put in place.

“Areas of Orchard Park and the entirety of Flamingo Drive have benefited from the program,” he wrote. “Incidentally, these were neighborhoods with no formal residential parking program but were experiencing the same intrusion during normal business hours.”

Deborah Samuel, president of the Flamingo Group Neighborhood Association, said she and neighbors complained to the city about six months ago after they noticed several of the same cars taking up all their street parking all day long.

While she said doesn’t mind some amount of public parking in the neighborhood, it had gotten to the point that people visiting residents couldn’t find a spot as people who work on Collins Avenue and beach-goers filled their streets and, in some cases, left behind trash.

“We all walk across the bridge. I think we understand that,” said Samuel, who lives at Flamingo Drive and 29th Street. “But it just got to the point that there were a lot of cars every day.”

According to the memo, several other neighborhoods are interested in this new approach, instead of requiring a permit 24 hours, seven days a week. Four more areas will have the new restriction put in place during the next 60 days:

▪ South Pointe.

▪ Lake Pancoast.

▪ Museum District.

▪ West 42nd Street across from Nautilus Middle School.

Signage will be posted when an area has the new restriction in place. Enforcement is supposed to begin 10 days after the signs go up, and neighborhoods who don’t already have an existing residential parking program are supposed to be notified beforehand so residents can register for permits.

The change will affect construction and hotel workers who park along residential streets to avoid fees elsewhere.

Samuel said if some of the low-wage workers who staff hotels on Collins Avenue are forced into paid parking lots because of the change, their employers should help provide them with options or money to park.

“There should be some burden on them — the hotels — for their low-wage workers, to try to supplement them and try to help them find a place to park.”

Follow @joeflech on Twitter.

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