Delray Beach works to resolve parking headaches

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 9:36 PM EDT
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Parking in downtown Delray Beach can be downright difficult at times.

The city is meeting with residents and looking for guidance on exactly how to alleviate their parking problem.

Rich Coccaro said parking in the city is at a premium.

"During the week it's a little bit easier. Friday and Saturday night is really difficult to find parking," Coccaro said.

Even the city of Delray Beach admits parking is tough here.

Recently the city completed a downtown mobility study that focused on "curbside management."

It examined how valet stations are run from sidewalk cafes to pedestrian access, but parking is the one glaring issue throughout the study.

"When you are parking in downtown Delray Beach, it's incredibly difficult if you're looking for a space at a time where everyone else is looking for that exact space," said Brian Ruscher, Delray Beach transportation planner.

He said on-street parking spaces along Atlantic Avenue are limited.

Within a five-block stretch between Atlantic Avenue and Federal Highway there are 60 parking spaces, but a third of those spaces are taken up by valet stations.

"But when you talk about Old School square garages, which is one block away from Atlantic Avenue, that's over 500. Federal is clearly 150 spaces," Ruscher said.

They presented their findings to residents Tuesday night about downtown parking and curb uses. It received multiple opinions.

"It is confusing. I've lived here for a long time, and I've never used the Old School garage. I never knew what it was for or where it was at. I think there's an opportunity to promote that," business owner Mark Snyder said.

Carist Cherelus is more concerned about safety.

"I sometimes find the parking to be a little bit expensive, especially in the garage. And the parking garage, I find it sometimes to be unsafe," Cherelus said.

Ruscher said one solution the city is looking into is charging a modest fee at long-term lots to encourage turnover. He said a last resort would be building a parking garage but that's expensive, costing $20,000 per parking space.

Scripps Only Content 2021