Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jacksonville Beach Looks at Time Limits for Parking in Lot

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jacksonville Beach Looks at Time Limits for Parking in Lot

Article excerpt

Byline: Drew Dixon

JACKSONVILLE BEACH - Jim Stockton simply wants some available free public parking for the tenants who stay at the Seawalk Hotel that he operates on First Street.

Since some of those occupants at the hotel sign up for extended stays that can last for months, Stockton said it's essential that the 55-space parking lot at Second Avenue North and Second Street remain free and available with no time limits for parking. That availability may now be threatened since the Jacksonville City Council is considering placing a two-hour limit on parking in that lot between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

"You're talking about treating people like you want to be treated," said Stockton, the president of the Seawalk, as he addressed the council Monday. He said he understood what the council was trying to do, so that in parking spaces "there's not people camping out there forever."

"But there's also the negative side that when people see parking restrictions, they don't come to those businesses. They go somewhere where they don't have to worry about getting a ticket," Stockton said.

The parking time limitation for the Second Street lot comes on the heels of the city implementing a $5 charge to park in the largest parking lots in the city in the past year, at places such as Latham Park and the Jacksonville Beach pier off Fourth Avenue North. With the fee being enforced, Stockton said that puts even more pressure to have some form of free parking for his clientele.

The council voted to table the issue to allow for further research by staff. But it again raises the old argument against parking restrictions and fees. The city is trying to control parking and keep motorists moving in order to accommodate businesses so one car doesn't take a parking space all day.

But some consider the plans for parking restrictions to be overreaching. …

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