Downtown Dunedin parking now free

- After years of complaints from business owners and visitors, Dunedin city commissioners voted to make downtown parking free. 

"Everyone was bitter about it," said Dion Falzon, a local restaurant owner. "And it really was a big deal."

The paid parking dilemma started three years ago when meters were installed.

Back then, city officials said the meters would help with turnover and prevent drivers from hogging a spot for an indefinite amount of time. They also created a separate revenue stream to pay for a public garage.

But the criticism against the meters grew throughout the years until city commissioners decided to do away with the program at a city meeting August 23.

"It was just really tough to accept that you have to pay for parking," said Falzon.

Visitors said it's a relief.

"When it's free parking you're not rushed to come in and out," said Danielle Clark, who was visiting from New Jersey, "you can stay and relax."

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