Making Parking Easier

Adequate and convenient parking contributes to the health of downtowns. Downtown boasts more than 44,000 parking spaces, and while the demand is catching up to this supply, a large amount of land is still devoted to parking. Peripheral parking areas are underutilized while central areas experience high occupancy. Such a supply can be a boon to commuters, but nevertheless it negatively impacts the activity level along Downtown’s streets.

The DIA is leading the way on a comprehensive Downtown parking strategy consistent with the Business Investment and Development Strategy. In 2019, the DIA and the Office of Public Parking released a Downtown Parking Study by Tim Haas that analyzed on- and off-street parking conditions to maximize the efficiency of the current parking system and recommended improvements to the overall management and operation of the parking system. In addition:

  • The DIA has revised parking standards to eliminate minimum requirements throughout Downtown and to clarify the requirements for street-front retail or Urban Open Space wrapping the ground floor. Both the Florida Blue and FIS private garages approved this year will now provide nighttime and weekend parking for the public and additional public parking was added on Magnolia Street.
  • An on-street parking app will soon be available and kiosk pilot programs are in the works.
  • Rates for city-owned garages and on-street parking will be adjusted over the coming year to better manage supply and demand insuring the availability of on-street parking for short-term needs.
  • Plans include implementation of a shuttle service to more remote, less expensive lots, but in the meantime, the free Skyway has accommodated demand for circulation within Downtown.

Downtown Public Parking Strategy and Implementation Plan

The DIA and the Office of Public Parking contracted with Tim Haas to undertake a Downtown parking study as well as an analysis of on-street parking conditions for several historic areas. The study was conducted with three primary goals in mind:

  • Understand current downtown parking conditions and adequacy (surplus vs. shortage);
  • Estimate future Downtown parking conditions and adequacy; and
  • Provide recommendations on how to mitigate current and projected future parking shortages, maximize the efficiency of the current parking system, and implement best practices to improve the overall management and operation of the parking system.

Both studies are available below: