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Holiday Courtesy Programs Ease Parking Panic in Some S.Fla. Cities

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(Source: TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

(Source: TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

maggieheadshot Maggie Newland
Maggie Newland is a reporter at CBS4. She arrived at the station ...
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Holiday Season

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Holiday shoppers are getting some good news when it comes to worrying about parking meters in a number of South Florida communities.

In Coral Gables, drivers will get a one-hour extension on expired parking meters through December 26th.

If you forget to plug the meter, parking attendants will place a Holiday Courtesy Notice on your windshield, giving you an extra hour of free parking from the time your meter expired.

These courtesy notices apply only to the Downtown Coral Gables district from Andalusia Avenue to Giralda Avenue and from Douglas Road to LeJeune Road.

Along Miracle Mile, shoppers and diners were thankful for the extension.  “I just heard my phone right now giving me the alert it was expired,” Cynthia Guzman told CBS4′s Maggie Newland. Guzman rushed to her car. “No don’t give me a ticket,” she exclaimed. Fortunately for her, the “ticket” she received was just a holiday courtesy notice.

“That’s awesome. That’s awesome because  it does get hectic to do everything you have to do and be on top of my car,” she said.

Businesses are also happy about the parking courtesy.   Stephen Conlan of Bellmont Spanish Restaurant says customers often rush out to feed the meter.  He hopes this might encourage them to linger a little longer.  “That right there is really good for business. I think it’s really going to help people feel good about shopping here,” he said.

In Miami, the Parking Authority (MPA) has announced that the city’s “Holiday Courtesy Citation” program will run through December 29, 2013.

The program applies to all on-street parking spaces managed by MPA. Customers whose meters have expired will be issued a special Holiday Courtesy Citation explaining that they have been granted up to one free hour of parking beyond the expiration time, thus avoiding a parking ticket.

The Holiday Courtesy Citation program is in effect 24 hours a day, every day during the specified dates.

Customers must have purchased parking at a single-space meter, a Pay & Display master meter, or via Pay by Phone in order to be eligible for the courtesy time extension.

Miami Beach is offering a similar program which will run through Christmas Day.  The city has been offering one hour holiday parking extensions for the past 20 years.

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