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New parking meters coming to Boca Raton

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 5:06 PM EDT
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A popular spot to park in Boca Raton that has access to shopping and walking to the beach will no longer be free.

The city council approved a plan Tuesday to install 34 on-street parking meters in the four-block area from Southeast Fifth Avenue on Palmetto Park Road to Southeast Mizner Boulevard.

Finding a spot to park in Boca Raton is getting harder as the city's population and popularity grows.

"It already is an issue. Parking on the street and with more businesses and more buildings around, parking is worse," Nel Bloom, the owner of the Dirty Blonde Salon, said.

Bloom calls the meters an inconvenience, especially as many meters are now paid for through apps on your phone.

"Older people don't get that. I think that's complicated for them, and they get very frustrated," Bloom said. "I really hope that it doesn’t deter them."

With rising inflation, some residents say they already spend enough money at those businesses.

"If I have to pay, I'm never going to park here," Gigi Galante, a Boca Raton resident, said. "Don't we pay enough to live here? The rent is so expensive. I guess they are looking for ways to make extra money and we pay the price for that."

However, Mayor Scott Singer said the new meters are not about the money.

"The goal isn't making money. The goal is to ensure turnover of a limited number of parking spaces so that residents, visitors and patrons of businesses have a place to park," Singer said. "The alternative is people hogging the spaces all day long, and you would actually have less spaces."

The city has already implemented metered parking in nearby Mizner Park.

"I feel it's just part of the times," local real estate agent Alyssa Gorman said. "We’re used to paying to park just a few blocks over in Mizner now. It’s not just free parking. I think we are starting to get used to this trend. If it's going to help the businesses in the area then yes, I see it as a positive."

That ticket will cost you $35. Now the question is, will people stay away from downtown to refrain from paying?

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