NewsHillsborough County


Parking on 7th Avenue in Ybor City will now cost $1.50 an hour

Tampa owned lots will be free for the first two hours
Posted at 4:30 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 07:57:28-04

YBOR CITY, Fla. — Big changes are about to come to Ybor City parking.

“If they’re free most people want to park in those parking spaces,” said Fed Revolte, the Parking Division Manager at the City of Tampa.

But, that desire to land a free space a few steps from Ybor’s main shops and restaurants has caused major congestion, according to the city. It’s why the city will now turn them into metered parking and charge $1.50 an hour.

The city hopes it will alleviate traffic on 7th Avenue and keep people from riding up and down the main drag in hopes of a free parking spot.

“What we have is a lot of customers circling the block until they get a free parking space,” Revolte said.

They said adding into 100 new spaces, and creating loading zones as well as rideshare pick-up and drop-off spots will keep things flowing too.

But, some businesses said it takes parking away from their employees.

Iyla Goldberg owner of The Stone Soup Company feels like his employees are being taxed.

“The first question for most employees is 'where do I park' when they get hired or when I’m interviewing 'what do I do for parking?' We tell them typically you can find street parking, well, that’s not gonna be a thing anymore,” he said. “Whatever they’re making an hour, subtract a dollar because they have to pay for their car.”

The city said there are two garages that offer monthly parking rates that cost $31.19 for a spot from either 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. till 5:30 a.m.

But, Way Hamdan, a manager at Acropolis Greek Taverna, said employees like to park close.

“Especially when we’re leaving at night to go home we feel safer when we’re parked here,” she said.

Goldberg also thinks customers aren’t going to know where to go for free parking. The city said the signs are very visible — the first two hours of parking in lots 3, 5 and 6 will be free and then it will cost $1 per hour.

Ybor City signage shows the first two hours of parking in lots 3, 5 and 6 will be free and then it will cost $1 per hour.

“I don’t understand that either. Why two hours? Why not all day? If they’re gonna make it free, make it free,” said Goldberg. “So now, people don’t have to run around and say 'oh I’ve got five minutes left I’ve got to go move my car and re-park it so I have another two hours.' It’s backwards.”

The city said as far as employees go, "if Ybor businesses have a better idea on how to structure parking rates, the City of Tampa is opening to listening and working with them."