Expect Traffic, Parking Problems in St. Pete on Monday
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday parade and family fun festival will bring in increased traffic and detours.
ST. PETERSBURG – This city will host one of the largest Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday parades in the nation Monday (Jan. 16).
During this year’s 32nd Annual “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. DREAM BIG” Parade, city traffic officials will make every effort to minimize inconvenience to motorists; however, traffic disruptions in downtown St. Petersburg can be anticipated between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
The 2017 parade begins at 11 a.m. on Central Ave. and Second St., proceeds west to MLK/Ninth Street., turning south for one block to First Ave. S, then proceed west again to 16th Street, turning left/south on 16th Street to Third Avenue S., disbanding near Tropicana Field Parking Lot 1.
St. Petersburg Police encourage motorists to pre-plan their travel routes and to use streets west of 16th St. After 10:30 a.m., drivers wanting to cross First Avenue N., Central Avenue or First Avenue S., are advised to use 28th Street, I-275, or streets farther west.
City officials remind vendors that a valid occupational license and a one-time special event vending permit is required and all city vendor codes will be enforced for the parade on Monday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Parade organizer, Advantage Village Academy, anticipates nearly 100 units will participate in the parade including marching bands from Florida A & M University and Tuskegee University, local bands and others from throughout the southeastern U.S.
City traffic officials remind motorists and downtown visitors that parking will be restricted along the parade route beginning Sunday evening and barricade placement will begin as early as 1 a.m.Monday. In addition, downtown residents should be aware that the residential parking permits do not exempt holders from receiving citations or possible vehicle relocation during special events.
Family Fun Festival
Immediately after the MLK Parade, the public is invited to the Second Annual MLK Dream Big Family Fun Festival from 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the east side of Tropicana Field in parking lots 6 and 7. Free admission. Enjoy free activities, games, live entertainment, Kids Zone and more. Food and art/craft vendors will offer items available for purchase. Disabled parking available in Tropicana Field Lot 6; the entrance is from First Avenue S. near 14th Street. Some public parking is available in Tropicana Field Lots 8 and 9. For information or for vendors to register, call (727) 321-7919.
For information about the parade and Family Fun Festival, go to MLKdreambig.com.
Shuttle Services and Parking
The Central Avenue trolley will operate a slightly modified route Monday, using westbound First Avenue N and eastbound Fourth Avenue N to bypass the parade. Regular CAT trolley fares apply (50 cents per ride). There will be no service on Central Avenue between First and 16th streets until about 3:30 p.m. Monday and there will be no CAT service to the Beach Drive/Dolphin parking lot until after the parade.
In addition to Central Avenue., other roads affected on the CAT trolley route during the parade include MLK/9th Street., First Avenue S, Second Avenue N, and Bayshore Drive.
The Downtown Looper trolley will NOT be operating Monday. City-owned downtown parking facilities, except the MSC garage, will be open for public parking to accommodate those wishing to enjoy the parade as well as other downtown activities and destinations.
The Sundial Parking Garage (entrance at 117 Second St. N) will offer the night, weekend and holiday rate of only $1 for four hours ($1 for each additional hour or partial hour; with a $7 maximum); while other facilities including the SouthCore Parking Garage (entrance at 101 First Ave. S) offer normal rates including $1 per hour, also with a $7 maximum. The Al Lang Stadium parking lot, (southeast corner of First Street and First Avenue S) offers a $5 flat rate for all-day. Parking in the 800 Lot located at First Avenue S and MLK St./9th Street will be a $5 flat rate all day.
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