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Tuesday, July 27, 2021
<p>Gainesville City Commissioners discuss the current neighborhood parking decal system Thursday. They unanimously passed a resolution to explore options of raising parking permit prices.</p>

Gainesville City Commissioners discuss the current neighborhood parking decal system Thursday. They unanimously passed a resolution to explore options of raising parking permit prices.

The Gainesville City Commission voted Thursday afternoon to revamp the neighborhood parking decal program in neighborhoods around the UF campus area.

The city unanimously passed a resolution to explore raising the price of city parking permits and developing demand management strategies.

Gainesville’s Public Works department spokesman Jacob Kain said because the city’s current parking permit system was established in 1981 to keep commuters from parking in neighborhoods, the purpose of many residential areas such as University Heights and College Park has shifted.

Single-family residences have shifted to communal housing for groups of students, which means more cars clogging the area, he said. It’s put a drain on the available parking in the neighborhoods and has created frustration for residents.

The current price for yearly neighborhood parking decals is $19.50 per year.

The scarcity of parking has led to a “decal black market,” which has led many students to create their own fake passes or find other ways to skirt the system, said Bruce Delaney, a rental property manager who addressed the commission during a public comment section.

Teresa Scott, director of Public Works, suggested requiring residents to pick up their decals in person instead of completing the transaction solely online.

“It’s one thing to lie to a computer but another to lie to a staff person in person,” she said.

City staff members recommended full responsibility for distributing parking permits should fall to the city. Staff also suggested raising the price of permits while starting the parking grace period earlier, on July 15 instead of Aug. 15.

The issue will now go to the Community Development Committee for further evaluation.

Contact Kelcee Griffis at kgriffis@alligator.org.

Gainesville City Commissioners discuss the current neighborhood parking decal system Thursday. They unanimously passed a resolution to explore options of raising parking permit prices.

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