Well, happy holidays! Fees for city-owned street parking in downtown Pensacola will be waived Dec. 19-26 during “Parking Amnesty Week,” allowing downtown visitors to shop, dine, and enjoy the holiday lights and attractions without paying for parking.
Although many residents, business owners and visitors have been advocating for permanent free parking downtown after being hassled with increasing fines and numerous tickets, so that our community can continuously enjoy these downtown attractions, an 8-day reprieve for the Christmas holiday was enacted- throwing us all a metaphorical holiday bone.
The free parking applies only to city-owned on-street parking, identified by teal blue ‘PARKPensacola’ signage. The free parking excludes parking lots, garages and privately managed parking spaces. For a map of city-owned parking, click here.
The city’s “Parking Amnesty Week” is stated to “give the City of Pensacola an opportunity to support local businesses by removing the cost to park, encouraging people to shop local during the holidays.”
Local businesses support this initiative, as one Palafox business owner eagerly told The Pulse they hope to also file a petition to “extend the holidays” into November 2022.
“Parking is a self-funded public enterprise that isn’t paid by taxpayers but is paid only by those who use the service,” said Parking Manager Lissa Dees. “Offering a free week of parking gives the city an opportunity to support small businesses downtown while giving a little something back to our community in the process.”
Revenues generated from City of Pensacola parking fees stay in the community and are used to fund parking improvements such as lighting, safety features, landscaping and repairs- infrastructure projects that most taxpayers would willingly prioritize anyway. Free or 2-hour parking is available throughout downtown Pensacola, and city-owned parking is always free on Sunday, when many places are closed. In addition to “Parking Amnesty Week,” free parking is available daily at the following inconvenient locations:
- Community Maritime Park
- Bayfront parkway – surface lot
- Belmont-DeVilliers – surface lot
- South Palafox Marina – surface lot