Three pay-to-park machines in downtown Lakeland that many drivers found confusing have been replaced by new machines that take credit cards, bills, coins or payment via the ParkMobile app. Drivers no longer have to remember a number for the space they parked in, but will need to enter their license plate number.

The new machines were installed Sept. 9 at:

  • Lot D, next to Mitchell’s Coffee House on North Kentucky Avenue
  • Munn Park Lot
  • Main Street Garage, near the public parking entrance on Cedar Street.

Parking at these locations still costs $1 per hour from the start of parking.

Munn Park lot pay station

The Lakeland Downtown Development Authority’s Julie Townsend explained it well in a note to downtown businesses, so we’ll let her take it from here:

  • All of these lots/garages will have the same Parkmobile Zone number: 2701.
  • Machines are much more user friendly – more intuitive instructions as well as a brighter, color screen.
  • The machines won’t accept payment after hours. So customers who try to pay after 5 p.m. or on weekends will instead get a message that parking is free after 5 p.m. and all day weekends.
Main Street Garage near the Cedar Street entrance

Why Pay-by-Plate is better
Most cities have already moved away from purchasing parking by space number to Pay-by-Plate.  It allows for flexibility for the customer’s parking experience. 

Having the same zone number (2701) for all of the lots and garages means these are now one big zone. A customer can move, for example, from Lot D to the garage within the same parking purchase. This transferability is true whether you purchase your time via Parkmobile or the machine. 

Previously, if you purchased time in Lot D, space 5 for example, and needed to move before your time expired, you would have to purchase a new parking session in any other lot or garage. It was not transferable because of the specific space number purchased AND the change of zone.

REMEMBER: On-street parking is NOT zone 2701. You cannot purchase time in a garage or lot and transfer that time to the street. 

LDDA has also created a parking card to distribute to customers on site as well as businesses who are willing to share them with their customers ongoing.  The convenient business sized card is a helpful “cheat sheet” of the parking zones, costs and rules with a place to write one’s plate number and keep in a wallet.

The Main Street Garage (Main Street entrance) is fully permit only during the day. But every evening at 5 p.m. and all day weekends it is free public parking. This is also true of all city-owned paid and permit lots. This has always been the case, but many folks still don’t know.

Back to LkldNow: One benefit we recently discovered is that zone 2725 lets ParkMobile app users park free for two hours and then 25 cents an hour for the rest of the day. So: $1.50 for a full eight-hour day.

And lest you think these zones are far from popular destinations, I’ve parked several times in zone 2725 spots on Massachusetts Avenue just one block from Mitchell’s Coffee House.

Numerous other zone 2725 spots can be found along Orange Street, and there are some on Main Street just west of Florida Avenue.

Check an interactive map showing downtown parking locations and zones.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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