Saturday, June 19, 2010

Parking in Wilton Manors from Town Hall 2010

More from the Wilton Manors Town Hall meeting for 2010

Parking was presented by Bob Mays.

The situation is that people are parking in front of busineses all day long.  The people who are parking there are the same people who work in the shops and bars here on Wilton Drive.   They're the ones who come in and make sure that the city is moving along and the central business district is thriving.  After all, when the drive had no workers, it had no shops.  On the other hand, the problem is that each of these shops has limited parking, only 130 or so existing spaces on Wilton Drive.  If your waiter is parked in front of the restaurant, you can't park there to get your Pizza at Humpy's or Thai at Siam Cuisine.

Both are excellent by the way...

The city commissioned a study that recommended a comprehensive solution that resulted in Lanier Parking being brought in to manage the parking for the city on and near Wilton Drive.  Lanier suggested free off site lot for the people who work in the city at the shops and a shuttle to get them to work on time.  You will be able to park free at the GLCC or at the Church lot at NE 6th Ave and NE 26th Street.  The Green Hopper will shuttle you to the Drive for free.  Currently, this is in place.  I am not completely certain but I believe that these lots are not limited to the people who work on the drive.  The walk to the drive is not too far, and the Church lot is half way between the Drive and Scandals bar just our side of Oakland Park Blvd on NE 6th Ave.

The meters are just one part.  Old City Hall has been approved to be demolished and a parking lot will go in on that site but the format not decided.  There is a question before the City Commission asking whether or not the City should build a temporary surface lot, a surface lot that is permanent and meets all code, or a multiple level parking garage.  After having seen the plans I have to say that the most logical decision would be to build a permanent surface lot.   A temporary lot would only last 3 years and this Republican Induced Great Depression has shown no signs of ending and lately the pundits are talking about a "Double Dip".  Hold onto your hats, your property values are about to take another dive. In 3 years it is questionable whether we will have money to do this AGAIN, so lets do it right the first time.   A permanent surface lot will allow us to build a garage at a later date when the financial situation gets better and we can afford the 2 to 4 million dollars it would take.  In retrospect, a $600,000 bill for a permanent lot would be a bargain.  

Those costs are approximate and include all demolition costs if I remember correctly.

Before that happens, asbestos remediation is planned for the Old City Hall.  Any building of that era, the 1950s, will have Asbestos it seems. 

Lanier moving to a permanent office on Wilton Drive in the Gables Wilton Park within a week.  The office space has finally begun to look like it is near completion. 

Enforcement of meters begins on Monday April 21, 2010.

Ed Richardson of Lanier parking informed us of what Lanier is planning on doing.  If you want to reach him, his cell number is on a sticker that is directly on the meters.  There are currently 139 meters on the Drive and up to another 40 will be installed as soon as the locations are determined.  The Green Hopper Shuttle service starts next week.  Currently, even though people do not have to pay the meters until April 21, 2010, compliance is up to 75%. Lanier's Office at Gables Wilton Park is open as of Monday and open 7 days a week during business hours. 

The Park by Phone system is in place.  On the meters are instructions to call a phone number with your cell, enter in some codes and you can charge your parking instead of feeding the meters.  Just remember to call when you leave or else you'll continue to be charged for parking even though you're safe and snug in your bed!

The Shuttle Service is plan currently is up for some changes to better reflect how well it will be used.   If it is found that it is running at the wrong time, the Green Hopper Shuttle Service hours will be adjusted so that people can get to and from work.  The Green Hopper is an excellent service that uses neighborhood electric vehicles like a Taxi within the immediate Wilton Manors area, and service is on a tip basis.   I haven't heard whether tips will be expected during Shuttle Operation, and since the City is paying for the service, I would expect that Tipping should not be allowed.

The hours of operation for the meters are are 9AM to 3AM 7 days a week on Wilton Drive.  Hagen Park and Richardson Park's hrs will vary but have some free daytime hours.  Monday to Friday until 6PM is free at the tennis courts, and a parking pass is available for Hagen or Richardson while park open. 

The Expected revenue gross from existing parking will be $650,000, and Net $280,000 per year.  Yes, that means that the City is expecting a profit of $280,000 from the existing 130 spaces.  Hopefully if we see that money, it will be earmarked for improvements on the Drive so that it will not go into the general fund. 

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