ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - St. Petersburg, Florida is kicking off a very bold initiative - to make the city car-free.
Central Avenue, in the heart of St. Pete was just as packed Wednesday afternoon as it is on a typical Friday night, with visitors complaining over the lack of parking.
“It’s crazy,” one visitor complained to FOX 13. “There aren’t any spots available.”
It’s a growing pain the sunshine city has faced over the last few years. Buildings go up, but additional parking doesn't seem to balance the equation.
That's why a group is getting together to promote Car Free St. Pete, a marketing campaign to showcase how to live, work, and play in the city, without a car.
“Downtown St. Pete is a place you really can live car-free,” said Jason Mathis, the CEO of the Downtown Partnership.
Between the Crossbay Ferry from Tampa, ride-share programs and companies, and a free trolley throughout the city, some people, especially those under the age of 50, are already getting around downtown without a car.
The problem, Mathis says, is that there are still a lot of people who aren’t.
“Even if you need to get in your car to get downtown, that’s cool, too. We aren’t telling people they can’t get in their car again. We are saying, once you’re down here, you can have this car free lifestyle,” he said.
Mathis says the goal is to eventually improve mass transit in the Bay Area, but for now, they're promoting what’s already available.
The Car Free St. Pete campaign is being paid for with money from a federal grant that also went toward the city’s looping trolley system.