Free parking offered to those feeling trapped by Republican National Convention

8:08 PM, Aug 15, 2012   |    comments
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The City is offering the spots to help ease the inconvenience of closing the 300 block of South Nebraska to traffic for 7 days starting on Aug. 25.

 


 


Tampa, Florida -- The handful of residents living in the 300 block of South Nebraska Avenue will be given free parking spaces during the Republican National Convention.

The spaces, in a secure lot, are about a block from the homes.

The City is offering the spots to help ease the inconvenience of closing the 300 block of South Nebraska to traffic for 7 days starting on Aug. 25.

However, Mary McColgan who lives in a rental home on the street says that's not enough. She says the fact that the city also placed its designated protest area across the street from her home is just as bad.

"They needed to provide a place for the protesters, I get that. In front of where people live? There's other lots they could have put them in," McColgan told 10 News a day after raising her concerns at one of the Mayor's town hall meetings to answer questions about the upcoming convention.

But city leaders on Wednesday continued to stress there is only so much they can do.

"There may not be a lot we can do and we recognize that they may be inconvenienced but for all of us we have to look at the greater good," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said.

"Everybody is going to have to sacrifice a little bit but I think the city has extended an olive branch to them to let them know we are working with you and trying to do everything we can to make you comfortable while this convention is going on," said Councilman Frank Reddick, whose district includes the 300 block of S. Nebraska.

Tuesday night Police Chief Jane Castor also reassured McColgan that law enforcement officers would make sure her home was safe from protesters.

The free parking spots being offered McColgan and her neighbors are one block to the east of their homes. News outlets are paying $800 to park in the lot for the week of the convention.

A Tampa Police spokesperson said the residents parking in the lot will be able to come and go from the lot during most hours of the day.

The GOP Convention begins on Aug. 27.

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