By: Diana Bello Aristizábal
On June 5, a parking management program came into effect in Doral that began in the Downtown area and was extended to Doral Legacy Park, Doral Academy, south of City Place and NW 36th Street between NW 107th Avenue and NW 104th Avenue on August 14. The latest chapter of this program was recently announced when an ordinance was approved to grant street parking permits in specific areas starting in January 2024.
Ordinance 2023-32 was approved by the City Council in first reading on October 18 and in second reading on November 8, after receiving comments from the community about the fact that the current parking fee system, regulated by the Miami Parking Authority and which works through the Pay by Phone app, is not practical or affordable for some people.
On-street parking costs $1.50 per hour for residents and $2.50 per hour for non-residents for a 3-hour maximum time. However, students at Downtown Doral Upper School and Doral Academy Middle/High School, residents of the area surrounding Doral Legacy Park on 82nd Street, and employees and business owners in the areas behind City Hall and around Doral Academy asked the city to offer an alternative payment system.
Residents, employees and business owners, and students from the areas in question were granted the possibility of applying for an on-street parking permit paying $40 dollars a month, subject to space availability, after the Public Works Department confirmed the viability of these permits.
For this purpose, in the first or second week of January 2024, a website will be enabled through which interested parties will be able to send their application and the required documentation, depending on the case.
“This option is more affordable than the current payment system, and residents of the Doral Legacy Park area can save money if we take into account what they would pay for an additional parking spot within their properties,” Doral Councilman Rafael Pineyro says.
Since the current parking system came into effect, residents have expressed their concern about the problem surrounding Downtown Doral Upper School. The school was designed so that students would not be driving their vehicles to get there, but rather walk or be left by their parents at the entrance.
However, the reality is that many students drive to school every day and have nowhere to park because there is no space made for them inside the school premises. “Before this parking system came into effect, they left their vehicles in the surrounding area without paying. Since the situation changed, some students along with their parents came to me on behalf of their classmates to tell me that paying daily under the Pay by Phone system is expensive,” the councilman states.
It must be said that in the case of Downtown Doral Elementary, parents who park their vehicles in Pay by Phone zones during student drop-off and pick-up times don’t have to pay any fee nor will they be fined.
For the Upper School, it was agreed in the second reading of the ordinance that students will be able to request a parking permit, valid between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. considering the majority of kids are engaged in extracurricular activities.
This measure also applies to Doral Academy students who, although facing a minor problem, since they can park in their own garage, lack enough parking spaces in relation with the demand. It should be noted that having this permit doesn’t guarantee securing a parking spot. Availability will be subject to a first-come basis.
Business and resident parking permit
In the case of businesses located in the aforementioned area, corresponding to 54th Street behind the government center and the Upper School, as well as the Doral Academy area where there are several warehouses, the affected employees and business owners turned to the city administration looking for a more affordable rate.
After thorough consideration, it was decided they will be able to request parking permits, valid during their work hours. As some people will be in industrial areas that receive shipments sometimes late at night, applications received will be analyzed to determine what will be done in such cases.
“We are trying to prevent vehicles from sleeping there and everyone is encouraged to operate under normal office hours. However, each application will be reviewed thoroughly and individually,” Pineyro explains.
As for the resident permit, it only applies to the Doral Legacy Park area, on 82nd Street, since the ordinance contemplates buildings that don’t have more than 3 or 4 floors. One permit per family would be granted for properties that have a maximum of two bedrooms with the option to apply for a second permit if the property has 3 or more, in which case permits will be granted at the administration discretion and based on space availability.
For more information, call (305) 938-0072 or visit: https://www.cityofdoral.com/all-departments/public-works/parking-in-doral/