The City of Winter Park is back with a parking study that says what many people already know finding a parking space on Park Avenue can be a major hassle. Economic Development Director Dori Stone is presenting the results of the study to City Council so they can decide if they want to make changes.
"Park Avenue does have a parking deficit, really looking at peak hour weekdays."
She added that weekends with special events are a problem too. The consultant the city hired to do the parking told the city that one major problem is employees of the shops along Park Avenue parking right along the street for longer than the 3 hours that are allowed. Stone admits it is an issue.
"The best thing you would want in front of your store is to not have your employee parking there, but to have a guest parking there."
Many employees we talked to also admitted to parking at the train station, also something that is not allowed for 8 hours at a time. The city will consider several options to alleviate the parking shortage, but Dori Stone told us building a new parking garage is not likely, and only recommended to the city as a last resort.
"Parking spaces are expensive to build. They can cost between $9,000 and $15,000 a space. So when you are talking about a garage for 200 spaces, that can get pretty expensive."
Instead, the consultant recommended building parking spaces off Park Avenue within a 10 minute walk that would be for Park Avenue employees only. Each person would get a parking tag or placard for the lots, leaving more spaces for the general public.