SARASOTA – St. Armands Circle introduces a new feature and it’s going to cost you a few bucks.

As the weather cools down, Sarasota’s population grows and so does residents’ frustration finding a parking space. A simple solution is installing meters to fund additional parking zones.

Frequent Sarasota visitor, John Oxley, remembers the last time parking meters were installed back in 2011.

“They were charging for parking on Main Street in the Downtown area. And that wasn’t an area in my opinion that was an area as valuable as this and yet the poor trader’s on Main Street had to suffer parking charges,” he said.

Oxley says St. Armands Circle is a better fit. “Charge a little bit and build a decent–sized parking garage somewhere. That would surely be a benefit to the whole area,” he said.

The city is doing just that; installing meters along the Circle starting in April. Parking meter fees will go directly towards funding a brand new four–story, 500–space parking garage that will be placed on the Northeast corner of the circle. This time, the city wants your input.

“We’re anxious that we get the right equipment and we hear from the community and the visitors. We want the natural component of who is in and out of the area and get their feedback on what would work best,” said City Parking Division Manager, Mark Lyons.

Friday and Saturday, the city is surveying passersby, asking which machine they like the best.

“Some of the meters are pay–by–space meters and some are pay stations. Both have advantages and disadvantages,” Lyons said.

Asking specific questions like, “Is the color right? Is it lit well? Are the buttons good? Is the overall size right for the community,” said Lyons.

Aiming to clear congestion and attract more visitors. “Make sure the equipment that’s chosen is most effective, runs well and works the for entire community,” he said.

The preview continues at 11 A.M. Saturday, January 13. Stop by and tell the city which model you want to see in April.