Because we live in an urban environment, parking is an issue for our neighborhood. The popularity of our neighborhood and the success of neighboring commercial districts has made matters worse. Parking issues have been exacerbated by the negation of 5 minute parking signs. While the negation of the 5 minute parking signs have made the problem more visible, parking is an issue that has been building over time.
Over the past year, HHPNA has been working with your neighbors, the City of Tampa, Tampa Police Department and commercial establishments to explore alternative approaches to address the parking and traffic issues on our streets, particularly around Hyde Park Village and around Howard, Dekle and related streets in the southwest part of our neighborhood. Last year, for example, neighbors north of Swann discussed the possibility of becoming part of the City’s resident restricted parking program.
The Tampa City Council has taken up the issue of parking. City staff provided an interim update at a City Council workshop on June 15. Various Tampa City Departments, including legal and planning, have been studying how to address parking, including adopting a more robust resident parking program. Such a resident parking program could restrict parking in an identified neighborhood only to residents. City Staff are studying the City to identify those neighborhoods, including Hyde Park, that have parking issues. Included in the considerations are neighborhoods with proximity to commercial establishments, inadequate residential parking due to lack of driveways or alley parking, etc. Such a program has not yet been developed but is under consideration. It is important for every resident of Hyde Park to appreciate that if such a program is implemented in Hyde Park, it could impact where you can park.
City Staff is analyzing target neighborhoods to determine what number of parking spaces might actually be available on one or both sides of relevant streets, considering street width, curb cuts for driveways, storm water intake, no parking areas such as in front of hydrants, etc.
At the same time, they are identifying and analyzing the practices of other large cities to determine best practices that might be relevant to consider in Tampa, as well as starting to identify policy considerations. The compilation of information on programs from seven different cities, included how one qualifies for the program, what is permitted, enforcement and penalties.
The interim update was just a first step. City Staff are directed to come back to City Council on September 7th to provide a staff report on a potential parking program. Such a report could include:
- Policy considerations to be addressed
- Areas to be covered
- Administration considerations
Note that as this presentation will be a staff report, public comment will be in advance of the staff presentation at City Council, not after as is typical on other issues.
It is anticipated that the development and implementation of a parking program will take time. Public comment will be solicited at various points in the process before new ordinances are drafted, as well as after. HHPNA leadership will be monitoring the process, and there will be a number of times in which it will be important for neighbors to be involved. It is important that City Council addresses this issue now. Tampa has a big city parking issue and needs to develop a big city parking solution.
Information and updates on what is happening will be published in the Forum and in the HHPNA website blog. In addition, important updates on the potential program and City Council actions will be communicated to HHPNA members through eblasts. Become a member today so that you can stay up to date on what is happening.
For those neighbors on Dekle and surrounding areas, HHPNA will reach to the Parking Division to determine if the current residential restricted parking program should be considered by the residents as an interim solution, given the process that will need to occur for the City to implement a more expansive parking program.
If you are interested in helping on parking issues, including outreach to the City on this important issue, please contact Kathy Durdin, 813-220-5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo of parked car in front of fire hydrant on Dekle Ave., courtesty of Kip Eldridge, 6.20.17.