With the 15,000+ media expected to attend, the secret service running rampant throughout the area, and the general chaos that comes along with an event like this, you’d think parking in Downtown Tampa during the Republican National Convention would be virtually impossible.
But, local business owners and the city are working together to develop a parking policy that will still allow these small businesses to still operate like normal during the convention.
For now, it’s looking like the major north/south roads like Ashley Drive and Florida Avenue will be designated as transportation only roads according to the Tampa Bay Times. On-street parking signs/meters will be removed and anyone attempting to park along Ashley or Florida will likely get towed pretty darn quick.
Aside from that, the on-street parking that remains will not be metered. The city will remove all electronic pay stations to avoid vandalism and each space will be converted into free, two-hour maximum parking spots open to the public, the Times reports.
There’s no word yet on how many of the total 1,400 parking spaces in Downtown Tampa will be affected. This will all depend on the security perimeter the Secret Service will establish four to six weeks before the Republican National Convention.
According to Parking Division Manager, Jim Corbett, the city plans to keep both the Fort Brooke and Whiting Street parking garages open to the public with some possibly altered access points and a potential security checkpoint on Whiting Street.
We’ll keep you updated as more news arises regarding Downtown Tampa parking during the 2012 Republican National Convention.