On March 1, Downtown Pensacola began implementing its new rate structure for parking downtown, in conjunction with turning over parking management duties to New Orleans-based parking management company Premium Parking. The changes include extending the hours of paid parking enforcement to Mon-Sat from 8am-7pm for DIB-managed on-street, public lots and garage parking locations. Parking on Sunday is still free.
To give parkers a few weeks of grace to learn more about and get used to the extended paid parking schedule, parking enforcement officers only issued warnings until March 19 during the new hours. Now, tickets are being issued on all vehicles whose drivers do not pay for parking during enforced hours.
Curt Morse, executive director of the Downtown Improvement Board (DIB), said that extending the hours of paid parking helps to meet the demands that rapid growth has placed on downtown Pensacola’s parking system and traffic flow. “It’s been nearly a decade since Pensacola’s parking structure and pricing were updated,” said Morse. “And during that time downtown Pensacola has experienced its greatest period of growth in memory.” Parking revenues are used to improve and enhance downtown parking, through projects such as garage lighting, streetscaping, erosion control, cleaning crews, sidewalk maintenance, handicap designation and others.
During the transition Premium Parking also launched smartphone app and text-to-pay options that allow users to pay remotely for parking. And the outdated entry and exit gates at Jefferson St. Garage were eliminated, replaced with Premium’s gateless “GLIDEparcs” solution.
Still, the changes will take some getting used to, Morse says, especially Saturday’s change from free to paid parking. “The parking enforcement team is citing those who do not pay for parking in paid parking spaces, but keep in mind that free parking is usually a few steps away, and you’re still not walking any further than you would when parking at most malls, restaurants or attractions.”
Here are the key changes:
*The changes only affect DIB-managed surface lots, on-street and Jefferson St. Garage parking downtown.
— Paid parking times and prices are now consistent at all DIB-managed parking locations: Jefferson St. Garage, Tarragona Street Lot, North Palafox Street Lot, downtown on-street parking.
— Parking rates were adjusted to align with market averages. In the Jefferson St. Garage, parking prices are: $3 for 9 hrs.; $5 for 12 hrs.; $9 for 24 hrs.; $5 for event parking
— Parking enforcement hours are Mon-Sat from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. On Sunday, parking is free.
DOWNTOWN PARKING TIPS
Download the parking app in advance. The fastest and easiest way to park regularly is via Premium Parking’s mobile app, available for free download on iPhone® (Apple App Store) or Android® (Google Play). Save your vehicle information, find location numbers, pay and extend your parking sessions from your smartphone.
Locate parking near any downtown business from your phone. Parking locations specific to downtown businesses are on the DIB website. Head to downtownpensacola.com/directory, click on a business and you’ll find both free and paid parking options nearby, along with distance and walking time for each parking option.
Purchase a monthly parking pass if you park regularly downtown. Find out more about downtown parking locations, digital payment options and parking passes by clicking on the Parking link at downtownpensacola.com.