Parking was a hot topic at last Thursday’s Business and Economic Development Task Force Meeting. It was also a hot topic at Monday’s City Council Meeting as Jacky Bravo wanted to create a comprehensive parking plan for the long-term benefit of the city.
And wait for the new downtown development to be completed as we know it’s only going to make the parking problem even worse. This project is expected to go online in September of 2022.
Mayor Mitchell and the City Council praised Bravo for bringing up the issue around parking. Mayor Mitchell suggested a separate parking workshop meeting to be able to dedicate time and mindshare on the single topic.
Interestingly enough, Councilman Bob Best mentioned that during big events like the Miami Springs River Festival that people somehow can find parking. He’s 100% correct. Curtiss Parkway acts as a temporary parking lot all the way to the Country Club. It’s also the temporary parking during the 4th of July. I hope Councilman Best does not expect to fix the parking by turning the entire green space of Curtiss Parkway into our parking solution.
We wrote about the parking issues back in April of 2019. It’s already worse than it was in 2019. And it’s going to get worse as the retail shops at the former Barry’s Cleaners location opens up and as the downtown development project comes online with insufficient parking for its residents, much less the new retail outlets.
And we’re already in a situation where people park at the Milam’s Markets parking lot only to go to Subways or one of the other nearby businesses that don’t have enough parking. I’m sure many of you have already seen this or experienced it first hand.
There are many options to solve parking. One of those options include revising the Gateway Overlay District to ensure any future development (like the property at Hook Square) has enough on property parking so that we don’t end up with the disaster we’re going to have at the 1 Curtiss Parkway development.
Some of the past ideas for parking improvements have included:
- Angle parking on Westward and reducing Westward to a single lane in each direction
- Adding paved parking on the first block of Curtiss Parkway
- Building a 2 story public parking garage behind the Post Office building
- Better parking signs
- Update the Gateway Overlay District to ensure new projects have enough parking
The Business and Economic Development Task Force is actively looking at options to help ameliorate the situation and “do something” to help the local businesses. Ultimately, the City Council did not move forward with creating a Parking Workshop as they are expecting to get some feedback from the Business and Economic Development Task Force. Furthermore, despite Bravo’s attempts to be proactive knowing the parking issue is only going to get worse, the general sentiment from the rest of the Council and City Manager was to wait and see what types of businesses come online along the new shops at the former Barry’s Cleaners and the new retail around the development along Canal Street.
We are encouraged by the very frank and honest work being done by the Business and Economic Development Task Force. They have a great team chaired by Gables Chamber President, Mark Trowbridge, and also includes several local business leaders including Max Milam and Charlie Leonard.
What are your thoughts? What should the City of Miami Springs do to improve parking? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section or via social media.