According to ABC Action News, as of Saturday, November 2nd., the city of St. Petersburg is rolling out fees for parking 7 days a week in the University Village area.

ABC28  says that any driver parking south of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, will now have to pay seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The city’s Saturday Market is what reportedly brings people to the area, and that free parking is partly what made the Saturday Market a draw. People just learning about the new charge may be quite disenchanted with the whole thing now.

Action News contacted the city’s transportation department on Friday and confirmed that there was no warning sent to the public about the upcoming change. The city claims they did have employees talk to business owners, asking them to inform their customers.

People who live and work in the area feel this will impact businesses and the market negatively. ABC28 quotes one person as saying,..

“It’s going to take customers away from the market. It’s already hard to park down here. Now they’re going to charge us.”

It appears we will have to wait and see the effect this change will have on the area. As of now the new rule is in effect. The city says it will be issuing warnings to people who forget to pay in the short term, but by mid November, city traffic officers will start vigorous ticketing.

So remember,  if you live, work or shop in this area that the free parking is now a thing of the past. Feed those meters!

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Rich Fields is a veteran radio broadcaster who is best known for having been the Announcer on the Price is Right. He is also an Emmy Award winning Meteorologist .