Parking Ticket Spree Along Wynwood's Main Corridor Has Business Owners Bristling
The City of Miami Parking Authority has been actively ticketing vehicles parked on NW Second Ave. in the heart of Wynwood, according to employees at a handful of local art galleries.
Rich Robinson Gum Gallery's Andrea Pasin points to the new parking signs along NW Second Ave.
Parking along Wynwood's busy main drag was formerly free of charge. But in recent weeks, the city has erected "Pay To Park" signage and, gallerists say, has been going on ticketing sprees during the neighborhood's busiest times.
No automated parking meters have yet been installed on NW Second Ave., which local business owners feel is unfair and counterproductive to the economic development of the fledgling art district.
For Robert Fontaine, the director of the eponymous art gallery, it all started a few weeks back.
"I watched it happen. I saw them give tickets out," Fontaine said.
He even got one himself, for $18.
"It's just crazy," Fontaine said. "The city shouldn't be charging for parking when the area is still in transition."
While other parts of Wynwood have been subject to the rules associated with parking meters for some time, NW Second Ave. has earned a reputation as a sort of free parking safe-zone.
Photo courtesy of Robert Fontaine A row of ticketed cars along NW Second Ave.
"Yes, we do need regulation on parking, but it's a very artsy neighborhood and we should have the freedom to park", said Jessica Bernal, manager of mosaic design firm Fantini Mosaici, located at 2310 NW Second Ave.
Ariadna Rivero, the assistant director for Alberto Linero gallery (2294 NW 2nd Ave) said that the tickets took her by surprise when an artist from Fort Lauderdale was cited for parking on the street in front of the building, while dropping off some art pieces.
"The people come here to see the art and they have to pay? Of course, it's going to hurt the galleries," Rivero said at her desk in a stark white studio.
While parking meters do not exist on NW Second Ave., there are signs in some locations that inform potential parkers to "pay by phone" or to download a mobile app. Some of these are close to 10 feet off the ground and are posted on telephone poles, while others look more official.