Free parking to end in downtown Fort Myers?

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- The days of free parking in downtown Fort Myers may be coming to an end.

On Wednesday, the city heard proposals to get rid of the free “zip zone” parking¬†and make everyone pay to park.

“I think the zip zones are very confusing to a lot of people that come down here,” said Mike Peters, owner of Java House downtown. “They don’t understand how the zip zone works and they’ll move their car to another spot thinking they’ll be okay and then they get a ticket for it.”

Dennison Parking, the contractor who operates the parking system and garages downtown, recommended ending free parking at a meeting with the Community Redevelopment Agency board, made up of City Council members.

“The zip zones, we plan to have those metered and not be free,” said council member Mike Flanders.

In the proposed system, drivers would use a mobile app to pay for their space. Dennison is suggesting around $2 an hour for prime spots in the heart of downtown Fort Myers.

“We come down once, twice a week,” said Michael Greene, a Cape Coral resident who is not in favor of paying for parking. “We’re not here for more than two hours technically so the zip zones work perfectly for us.”

City leaders must vote in favor of doing away with the free parking before any changes are made.

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