Parking in Wilton Manors has long been a headache to both locals and travelers trying to enjoy the gay paradise. What is supposed to be a tropical island, often feels like a huge LA expressway jammed with cars and angry, frustrated drivers.
As main street business try to tap into this unique market, they are bringing the typical problems associated with urban sprawl that lacks thought and planning. Yes, we’re talking about parking or the lack of it. This has been an ongoing problem in Wilton Manors and it just seems to be getting worse. A few years ago, the city made a lame attempt to add some public parking when it built the new city building and police department. Two things about this don’t make any sense. First, why did they move these new facilities to prime retail space or space that could have been used for parking? Seriously, whoever is looking for the police station or city building will find it. It doesn’t need to be front and center. And while the city did add some public parking next door, it’s not nearly enough. A stacked parking garage would have made more sense.
Nowhere is parking more of an issue than at Starbucks and Wells Fargo. Both of these big businesses added locations here to compete with the locals and are very successful. As a matter of fact, just about everyone I know has had a fender bender in the Starbucks parking lot. Now, Wells Fargo seems to be just as bad. It makes no sense that this busy bank has limited parking but has park benches taking up valuable space. Frustrated customers curse each other as they are blocked in by someone trying to use the ATM. Customers sneak into the CVS parking lot and duck across the street, trying to get back before their car gets towed.
When will Wilton Manors ever get it right.