Mythbusting Downtown Jacksonville: Parking

Think it’s difficult to find parking in Downtown Jacksonville? Now that’s a myth worth busting.

When I received a call for my first interview Downtown, I wasn’t worried about finding the building or the right office. Instead, my head was filled with horror stories from friends who constantly complained about the lack of parking.

Needless to say, I left my house three hours early to ensure I would locate one of those “illusive” parking spots, but to my surprise, I found one a block from my destination. It turned out parking Downtown wasn’t so difficult after all.

In a recent Downtown Marketing Collaborative survey, only 28 % of the respondents said parking was easy. As a new member of this statistic and a Jacksonville native, I was surprised that the percentage was so low. Downtown has more than 43,000 public parking spaces including lots, garages, metered street and peripheral parking. It’s important to remember that although you may not be able to park directly in front of your destination every time you visit, it’s nearly a guarantee that you can find spaces within a short walk just like Riverside, the Town Center or the Beaches.

With this said, if you are still worried about finding a convenient spot, it always pays to plan ahead. Downtown Vision, Inc.’s website offers a database of parking information and FAQs.

Also, the City is currently testing a new smartphone app, Parker that locates blocks with vacant parking spaces in real time. This free demonstration uses more than 100 Streetline sensors in metered spots along Laura Street as well as three crossing streets (Bay, Forsyth, and Adams) to help make your experience even easier.

In addition to the plethora of spaces, parking in Downtown is inexpensive. Meters only cost 25 cents  for every 30 minutes and are free on weekends, city holidays and after 6 p.m. Quarters, nickels and dimes are accepted by all meters and, in high-traffic areas, solar-powered meters accept credit cards as well as coins.

Don’t let this parking myth prevent you from experiencing the urban core. Remember, there are more than 43,000 public parking spots and you only need one.