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Parking Woes In Alton Road Construction Zone Prompts Compromise

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Alton Road Construction
Lauren-Pastrana-600x450 Lauren Pastrana
Lauren Pastrana joined CBS Miami in April 2012 as a reporter. Sh...
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MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – In an effort to help alleviate parking issues along Alton Road during an ongoing construction project, Miami Beach officials will allow drivers to park within the work zone at spots where a white bag covers the parking meter.

Meters covered in yellow bags remain off-limits.

Business owners in the area are frustrated with the lack of on-street parking caused by this $32 million project to improve the road and create a storm water drainage system.

“I wish they could do something regarding the parking,” Daniel Venegas told CBS 4’s Lauren Pastrana.

Venegas owns the Wok Town restaurant on Alton Road and 16th Street.

The eatery opened three months ago.

Just weeks later, construction began.

“Since they started construction, we decreased the people walking in like right away,” Venegas said. “Like I would say by 40% or something like that.”

Venegas said he’s even been kept from work because of the parking woes.

He said the big orange barrels are bad for his bottom line.

His neighbors agree.

“Right now, because it’s in front of my business, so there’s no parking for my customers so it’s really hard for everybody,” Javier Garcia said.

Garcia owns Frame of Mind, a framing shop a couple doors down from Wok Town.

He said the city has done little to inform him of updates to the project, but he’s glad they’re working on the parking issues.

“I never received any paper,” Garcia said. “I don’t receive anything. Just, it’s closed.”

Miami Beach’s official Twitter account has posted periodic updates on the project.

Indrani Radhakishun owns Lunatika, a specialty lighting shop on Alton Rd.

Radhakishun said there’s a meeting to inform businesses about the project on Tuesday, July 2nd.

“It’s difficult for our customers mainly,” she said. “They can’t just pull up and park. They have to go three or four blocks somewhere. I don’t even know exactly where they’re going.”

So the city has devised a solution to allow free, unlimited parking at all meters covered in white bags on the west side of Alton Rd. from 13th to 16th Streets.

Those in yellow are still off-limits as work continues to improve the road and the storm water drainage system.

It’s a temporary fix.

The meters will be unavailable whenever construction resumes in that specific area.

“This is a reconstruction project,” said Heather Leslie, spokesperson for the Alton Road Construction Project. “There’s a lot of work that needs to get done, but if people bring up ideas to us, these are things that we can implement and continue to evaluate to see what else we can do to try to make this as least painful as possible.”

“It hurts us,” Radhakishun said. “In the end, there’s some loss. But if we don’t have a flood again, that would be great.”

Work is expected to last until 2015.

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