By Jessica Sanchez and Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporters
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – The City of Miami Beach will hold a second vote to an ordinance to double the price to park during high impact events at all city garages, lots and city-owned parking meters to as much as $50 a day, will now be held in October.
On Wednesday, September 11th, Miami Beach commissioners voted on an ordinance that would double the price up to $50 a day to park at all city garages, lots and city-owned parking meters during events with a high volume of visitors. The costs would be $30 for six hours, $50 for a full day, and $5 per hour to park in city parking lots and garages.
According to meeting documents, Miami Beach’s city manager has the last word to authorize these measures before or during a “high impact period”. During these periods, hourly city parking meter rates could increase by 100 percent.
A “high impact period” is defined as an activity, period of time or event, like a holiday weekend, within a high impact zone that includes the beaches and the entertainment district of South Beach – with approximately 10,000 to 25,000 people attending.
The city manager could implement the measures for up to 72 hours without getting approval from the commission. “The ordinance would help alleviate traffic issues that arise when thousands descend on Miami Beach for special events,” said Commissioner Joy Malakoff.
Frank Del Vecchio, head of the South Point Neighborhood Association shares, “Given the adverse impacts these high impact events bring, and given the Charter authority vesting management authority in the city manager, I believe this specific authority is warranted.”
Adding, “And [it] will enable the city administration to plan ahead as well as provide advance notice to visitors and event attendees as to the areas within which the increased parking rates will be imposed.”
Scott Needelman of the Flamingo Park Neighborhood Association explained, “The main concern for our neighborhood during high impact events is preventing the event from spilling over into the residential neighborhood.”
“We would like to see the noise, traffic, etc. associated with these events remain outside the neighborhood to the greatest extent possible,” said Needelman.
Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemán said she was also concerned about hospitality workers on the island being subjected to those rates and wanted to figure out a program that would allow them to avoid paying the higher rates.
“We don’t have transit for them, they’ve got to get here […] It’s not fair to charge them excessive parking,” Alemán said in a report by the Miami Herald. She also noted, “A discount for Miami Beach residents of $1 per hour would still apply during these times.”
However the majority of workers on Miami Beach don’t live on the island, said Wendi Walsh, the secretary and treasurer for Unite Here Local 355, a group that represents hospitality workers. Walsh said employers need to ultimately provide parking for their employees.