For one hour, on various dates through the holiday season, several major cities in South Florida get into the spirit of giving.
One is the gift of relieving the worry of finding a parking ticket on your windshield after you finished shopping or catching a show.
But it’s not the gift that keeps on giving.
Here are the details:
The Miami Parking Authority is the first to begin its season perennial “Holiday Parking Courtesy Citation” program, and it’s doing so earlier season. The parking break starts on Monday, Nov. 28, and runs through Friday, Jan. 2.
Started over a decade ago, Miami’s parking courtesy program will be in effect daily, 24 hours a day, when Nov. 28 starts before 12:01 a.m. until Jan. 2 ends after 11:59 p.m.
The courtesy program applies to all on-street parking spaces managed by the Miami Parking Authority. Customers who purchase parking at a single-space meter, master meter, or via the PayByPhone app are eligible. Once the parking session expires, customers receive a special holiday courtesy citation explaining that they have been granted up to one free hour of parking beyond the expiration time.
“This holiday season, we are inspired and encouraged by the spirit of Miamians and surrounding communities,” said chief executive officer Alejandra “Alex” Argudin in a statement.
Every time we go to opening nights at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre on Miracle Mile and street park, we plead with the parking gods: “Please don’t give us a ticket because the meter limit is three hours and PayByPhone app in this location only lets you extend after that city-set three hours expires.”
We just don’t feel right blinding distracting our seatmates or the actors in the darkened theater by taking out our phone to tap out a parking extension before curtain call.
So Gables show-goers and shoppers can get a one-hour reprieve from Dec. 5 to Dec. 25 for metered parking. Instead of a citation, city officials will place a holiday card on a vehicle, said Coral Gables spokeswoman Martha Pantin.
Additionally, on Saturday, Nov. 26, as part of Coral Gables’ support of Small Business Saturday, the city will make parking free at its four municipal parking garages, for that day only.
These include the two parking garages on Andalusia — one across from the Publix supermarket between Le Jeune Road and Salzedo Street, and a second one between Salzedo and Ponce de Leon Boulevard. There is another garage by Giralda Plaza on Aragon Avenue and the fourth one is the Coral Gables Museum Garage on Aragon across the street from the museum.
Miami Beach, including destination spots in South Beach, will direct its officers to place a holiday courtesy notice on a car’s windshield instead of a parking ticket — a one-hour courtesy — Dec. 18-26, said city spokeswoman Melissa Berthier.