JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The parking meters near the courthouse are few, and for Jacqueline Johnson, confusing and costly.
"We lost 75 cents thinking we were going to put a dollar," she said. "only to find out it is only 30 minutes."
Johnson received a $15 parking ticket for the expired meter.
Brenda Ford also got a ticket after putting two dollars in the yellow meters.
"There's no where to park around here," said Ford.
The meters around the courthouse are either yellow, green or black. The yellow ones are 30 minutes. And while it is stated on the meter, it is easy to miss.
Regardless of how many quarters you feed the yellow meters, all you will get is 30 minutes of parking without a ticket.
The city installed the short-term meters near businesses like United Optical to keep the traffic moving.
Tony Duncan of United Optical said there are necessary.
"We've got to have places for our patients to park," said Duncan.
Duncan said there's also a problem with people parking in what appears to be vacant lots, so his business had to install no parking signs.
"We've seen some angry folks," he said.
Jack Shad runs the city's parking division. Shad said the first week of parking at the courthouse is as anticipated. There are a few complaints.
"We're getting some calls from some neighboring businesses," said Shad, "that people are blocking their driveways, parking in their lots and we are responding to those."
Shad said there are two city owned garages with cheap parking. They're at Water Street and the Ed Ball Building. He said there's a wide mix of options.
"If you want to be right out the front door, you will pay extra," said Shad. "If you don't mind walking you will pay less."
The rate is $1 an hour and Shad said that's the rate for the next year.
The city plans to add more metered parking within weeks to what's already been installed.
"We have actually added about 90 new meters and replaced 100 with newer meters," said Shad.
Shad is convinced that the parking for courthouse users is sufficient for now.
"I think that there's enough parking within a few blocks, for the users and the employees of the courthouse," said Shad, "Nobody likes paying for parking and nobody likes walking, but in the downtown area, that's part of what you have to do."
First Coast News