TREASURE ISLAND — It will soon be easier to find parking in Treasure Island, for a fee of course.
During their regular Aug. 6 meeting, city commissioners unanimously voted to spend $40,705 to provide 42 additional metered parking spaces in four different areas around the island, giving the city a total of 472 metered places.
Amy Davis, finance director and assistant city manager, explained the city currently has 430 metered parking spaces; 78 of those spaces were added in 2017 during the first phase of a parking expansion project that resulted in an increase in the city’s parking revenue.
Staff is now recommending metering additional public access areas all along the island, she told commissioners. The city has a three-year contract for meter pay stations and software support with Flowbird, a firm previously known as CALE. Flowbird offered to provide refurbished pay stations with new touch-pad screens, solar-powered light bar and installation, at a cost of $6,640 per unit.
“Because our experience with pay stations is much better than the individual meters, we are recommending whenever possible to install pay stations,” she explained. “These refurbished pay stations are used casing that has been re-powder coated with all new insides, utilizing the latest technology that is now the new standard in the Flowbird pay stations.”
Staff recommended the metered parking spaces be located at:
• Kingfish Drive, which will have 27 metered spaces and three pay stations;
• 127th Avenue West beach access, which will have five metered spaces and one pay station;
• 102nd Avenue East street end, slated for five metered spaces with one pay station;
• 101st Avenue West beach access, that will have five metered spaces and one pay station.
“Staff has noted some general and unique situations at these four locations that warrant adding metered parking at this time,” Davis explained. “Kingfish Drive, in the area around Gator’s Café, has had structured city parking for many years, albeit un-metered. There are numerous cars parked in the area on weekdays and weekends for traffic crossing over the bridge to walk to John’s Pass Village.”
However, she added, “the state recently installed ‘No Parking’ signs adjacent to the southeast side of the bridge abutment in their right-of-way, moving those cars to the public spots directly in front of Gators. This plan would refurbish the parking at Kingfish Park, adding a marked accessible parking spot.”
“At the remaining three sites, the primary concern is overcrowded and unorganized parking, especially on busy weekends. Given the very confined dimensions at these sites, there is little space available to build parking spots to acceptable standards,” Davis told commissioners. “It is believed there is unacceptable overcrowding at these locations, because they are currently unmetered lots adjacent to lots that are metered.”
Adding designated spaces with metered parking at these locations “should adequately redistribute peak parking and minimize public safety and liability concerns,” she added.