NewsPinellas County


No more free parking: St. Pete rolls out fees 7 days a week in University Village area

Posted at 6:18 PM, Nov 02, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Finding weekend parking in St. Petersburg's University Village is now going to cost you.

Drivers parking south of Central Avenue will have to pay seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The change started on Saturday.

The city's Saturday Market is what brings many to the area.

"I enjoy walking around here, and the beauty of what I see," said Brent Wilson.

For people like Wilson, the free parking is a huge draw. He wasn't happy to hear that he'll now have to pay.

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"That's ridiculous," he said.

ABC Action News spoke to the city's transportation department Friday. They confirmed that there were no warning sent to the public about the upcoming change.

They did have employees talk to business owners, and asked them to let their customers know.

"I was shocked," said Rachel Cote. "It's an inconvenience for everyone."

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The city says the idea to add paid weekend parking to the University area came out of the 2016 downtown parking study.

People who live and work in the area are afraid of the impact this will have on the businesses, and the market.

"It's going to take customers away from the market," Cote said. "It's already hard to park down here. Now they're going to charge us."

The city will be issuing warnings to people who forget to pay, but parking attendants will start ticketing by mid-November.