New App, Friendly Signs, Sidewalk Decals and a "Street Team" Are Ready to Help You Park Downtown
Posted: Jan 31, 2019 11:41 PMUpdated: Mar 14, 2019 8:38 PM
On Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, the Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) will launch a new mobile app, Passport Parking, for downtown parkers, along with improved parking signs, sidewalk decals, printed info cards and a street team ready to assist drivers at DIB-managed parking spaces. They are all part of a long list of customer-driven improvements that began last fall when the DIB moved away from paying an out-of-state company to manage its parking system. Through its partnership with Passport Parking—a well-established company employed by cities all over the world—DIB will offer the app to downtown visitors who park in DIB-managed parking spots including those inside the Jefferson St. Garage. Integrating with the DIB’s existing software, Passport Parking’s dashboard will provide DIB parking ambassadors and management with real-time access to data—critical information when customers need assistance. The new app will cut costs for downtown parkers as well: the price to start a parking session decreases from 32 cents to 18 cents. And, unlike the previous app, there is no repeat charge when a parking session is extended. The free Passport Parking app is available on the Apple and GooglePlay stores. LOOK FOR THE TEAL SIGNS FOR DIB-MANAGED PARKINGThe DIB manages only a portion of the public parking spaces located downtown: the rest are controlled by organizations and private business owners who determine their own rates and enforcement policies, which can vary widely from those of the DIB. Nearly one-third of all DIB-managed spaces are free, with a two-hour limit imposed to ensure fair and equitable availability. The cost to park downtown in the remaining DIB-managed parking spaces will not change: 50 cents per hour for on-street spaces and inside the North Palafox and Tarragona St. parking lots, and $1 for three hours inside the Jefferson St. Garage, and all DIB parking is free on Sundays*. To help parkers easily identify DIB parking, the organization is re-branding its signage in a consistent color, teal blue.*Excluding special event pricing. NO MORE DASHBOARD RECEIPTS—BUT HAVE YOUR TAG NUMBER HANDYWith or without using the Passport Parking app, it’s no longer necessary for visitors to return to their vehicles to put a receipt on the dashboard. However, when paying to park from a pay station, they will need their tag number. The DIB recommends taking a phone picture of the tag or writing the number down somewhere handy. A DIB “parking street team” will be giving out wallet cards for this purpose on Friday and at its next parking info workshop on Feb. 19th at 8am at Jewelers Trade Shop. *When using the Passport Parking app, visitors key in their tag number just once, when they set up their profile. As downtown Pensacola continues to thrive and prosper, identifying solutions for increased parking demands will continue. Lissa Dees, DIB executive director, said that feedback and suggestions from downtown merchants and property owners, DIB board and parking committee members, parking ambassadors and citizens are driving the evolution of the parking that DIB manages. “When a visitor parks at a teal DIB parking sign, they should expect the very best parking experience possible,” she said, “And we are committed to delivering it.” Dees said it is the DIB’s mission to provide the lowest parking prices, offer multiple payment options and a convenient app, maintain a policy against booting and towing and support Pensacola by hiring local and keeping parking dollars in the community. “After all,” she said, “We live and work here every day, too.” DIB PARKING: WHAT IS CHANGINGA  new app, Passport Parking, will provide a convenient new way for visitors to pay to park in DIB-managed parking lots, on-street parking spaces and inside the Jefferson St. Garage. Pay machines and meters may still be used, if desired. The Passport Parking app costs 18 cents per session, plus the price of parking. There is no charge to extend a session. Users can download the app from Google or Apple stores, set up their profile with tag number and conveniently pay for parking whenever they are downtown. The Premium Parking app will no longer work at DIB-managed parking spaces. Downtown parkers no longer need to display a receipt on their dashboard. Parkers will need to enter their tag number when they pay for parking at a pay machine. DIB parking will be designated by teal parking signs with zone numbers posted. A new web page with a parking directory, including handicapped parking spaces, may be found at A special “parking street team” will be out on Friday and next week to offer assistance and hand out parking info cards. DIB PARKING: THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOWThe DIB manages only a portion of the public parking available in downtown Pensacola. The rest is controlled by organizations and private businesses that establish their own prices and rules. When you park in a DIB parking spot under a teal sign, your parking dollars stay in the community. Parking dollars have recently paid for safer LED lighting inside the Jefferson St. Garage, stairwell and elevator cleaning and maintenance, handicapped striping, “smart” meters, directional signs and other improvements. The DIB never boots and never tows. DIB parking costs less than any other parking option downtown, and one third of DIB’s parking spaces are free, 2-hour parking, all day every day. More information about DIB parking can be found at 
DIB Announces New Parking Technology Partner and Free Holiday Parking
Posted: Dec 13, 2018 9:50 PMUpdated: Mar 14, 2019 8:35 PM
The DIB has been working closely with its new parking vendor, Passport, to roll-out a new and improved digital parking platform. The Passport app, used in cities across the U.S. and around the world, will be available for download in the new year. Until then, the Premium Parking app, any pay machine or parking meter may be used to pay to park at DIB-managed lots, on-street parking and the Jefferson Street Garage.There is free parking throughout downtown Pensacola, and the DIB is on a quest to raise awareness. Free 2-hour parking is now available on Tarragona Street between Garden and Government Streets. There is also parking available inside the Harbourview Parking Garage off Main Street near Palafox after 5pm and on weekends, as well as free on-street parking on both sides of Palafox Street. In September the DIB launched an online ticket appeal system to simplify the process of appealing a parking ticket, (Appealing a ticket by mail is still an option-- complete the information on the back side of the ticket, then mail it to: DPMD, PO Box 12332, Pensacola, FL 32591). Ticket holders have 15 days to submit an online appeal—or postmark a mailed appeal—before it is automatically denied, and once an appeal is denied, an administrative fee of $15 must be paid in addition to the original ticket amount.From Dec. 17-25, parking will be free in metered parking spaces on downtown Pensacola streets. During Parking Amnesty Week downtown visitors can shop, dine, play and enjoy Palafox Market, Winterfest activities and the half a million holiday lights, without worrying about parking fees. With no tickets to write, DIB Parking Ambassadors will transform into ‘holiday elves,’ available to help shoppers carry large purchases to their cars or offer other assistance. To reach them, call the “Elf Line” at (850) 434-5371.  A number of other changes are in the works, each designed to create a better parking experience in DIB-managed parking lots, spaces and the Jefferson St. Garage. Many planned improvements originated from suggestions from downtown merchants, DIB parking ambassadors and the community. In October, renowned parking expert, Donald Shoup, met with the DIB to share insights on how parking can be improved. “We are listening to the suggestions of those in our community as well as experts in the industry, so that we can tackle parking in a strategic and holistic way,” said DIB executive director Lissa Dees. “We're making headway, and look forward to implementing even more great processes over the coming months.”
Shoppers! The "All I Want" $1,000 Holiday Giveaway
Posted: Nov 19, 2018 6:14 PMUpdated: Jan 31, 2019 4:05 PM
UPDATE: THE "ALL I WANT" GIVEAWAY HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL SUNDAY, DEC. 23, 2018. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY THIS DATE BY 11:59 P.M. CST TO BE ELIGIBLE TO WIN A PRIZE.The Downtown Improvement Board is giving $1,000 in Downtown Pensacola gift cards to one lucky shopper in a new holiday contest that launches Nov. 23. To enter, participants submit copies of their receipts from downtown merchants dated between Nov. 23 and Dec. 23. Contest entry form and complete rules are online at every $10 spent in downtown shops, restaurants, bars and galleries, the participant will receive one contest entry. And the DIB will award double entries for purchases made on Shop Small Saturday, Nov. 24. At the end of the contest period, one winner will be randomly picked and awarded $1,000 in “downtown cash” to spend downtown.“Downtown Pensacola’s historic streets are the very best antidote for the dizzying crush of frantic holiday traffic.” said Lissa Dees, DIB executive director. “Here you can take in the sights, sounds and flavors of 150 locally-owned shops, galleries, restaurants and attractions as you discover unique gifts for everyone on your list—and earn the chance to win a $1,000 prize!”Here’s How to Enter1. Shop in Downtown Pensacola between Nov. 23-Dec. 23 and keep all your receipts.2. Submit photos of your receipts through our online entry form at: Official Rules and RegulationsEntries must be received by midnight, December 17, 2018. Winner will be announced by January 9, 2018 and will receive $1,000 in downtown gift certificates or gift cards. Entrants will receive one chance to win for every $10 spent downtown, and two chances for every $10 spent downtown on Shop Small Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018.NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. (A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.) OPEN TO US RESIDENTS, AGE 18 AND OVER. ELIGIBILITY: You must be eighteen or over to enter and win, and a legal resident currently living in the US. Employees and their immediate families of the DIB or its vendors, committees or board are not eligible. Only one prize will be awarded. By entering, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules, and agree to release the Sponsors and Administrators from any and all liability for injuries, losses or damages of any kind resulting from participation in this drawing. TIMING: All entries must be received between 12:00 a.m. CST on November 23, 2018 and 11:59 p.m. CST on December 23, 2018 to be eligible to win a prize. ENTRY: Enter by submitting copies of receipts of your purchases to, or by mailing a 3x5" postcard with your name, address and phone number clearly printed, to: Downtown Pensacola Improvement Board, 226 S. Palafox Place, Ste. 106, Pensacola, FL 32502. During the entry period, submit photos of receipts for purchases made at businesses within the downtown Pensacola district with one entry form. For each $10 spent on purchases in downtown businesses, you will receive one entry into the sweepstakes. Entries may be submitted online at Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, illegible or misdirected entries, which will be disqualified. Purchases made outside of the Downtown Pensacola district will not be considered. LIMIT: There is a limit of seven thousand (7,000) total entries per person, regardless of method or combination of methods of entry.GENERAL CONDITIONS: Void where prohibited. Illegible, unintelligible or incomplete entries or responses will be disqualified. DIB, Sponsors and Administrators are not responsible for any lost, misdirected, stolen or undelivered entries. DIB, Sponsors and Administrators are not responsible for technical, network, electronic, computer, hardware or software failures of any kind, including any injury or damage to entrant's or any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating in or downloading any materials in the giveaway. In the event that technical or other circumstances compromise this drawing, DIB reserves the right to cancel the contest, and select winners for prizes from all eligible entries received prior to the cancellation. DIB, Sponsors and Administrators are not responsible for typographical errors in the contest site or these rules. DIB reserves the right to share entry information with Sponsors and Administrators.RELEASE OF LIABILITY: By participating in this promotion, you release DIB, and their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, employees, directors, agents, advertising agencies and all others associated with the development and execution of this Sweepstakes from and against any and all injury, loss or damage caused or claimed to be caused by your participation in the Sweepstakes and/or the acceptance, awarding, receipt, use and/or misuse of the prize, and you agree that these entities are not responsible for the condition of your purchases, nor any warranty, representation or guarantee, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relating to the promotion and/or the awarding of any prize. By entering, you further agree that (i) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or in connection with the Sweepstakes, or any prizes awarded shall be resolved individually without resort to any form of class action; (ii) any claims, judgments, and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the sweepstakes, but in no event attorney’s fees; and (iii) under no circumstances will any entrant be permitted to obtain any reward for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than damages for actual out-of-pocket expenses.WINNER SELECTION: The prize winner will be selected through a random drawing of all eligible entries. All drawings will be conducted and judged by DIB, whose decisions and interpretations of these Official Rules shall apply and be final. Winner will be notified by email or phone within ten (10) days of contest end date. If winner does not respond by the time indicated in the award email, DIB reserves the right to randomly select an alternate winner from the names of all entries that did not win a prize. In order to receive a prize, winner may be required to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release, and any additional information, waivers and releases that may be required. Winner will have ten (10) days to execute and return the Affidavit of Eligibility and/or Liability/Publicity Release, releasing DIB, Sponsors and Administrators from any claims, losses, injuries or damages of any kind resulting from participation in the contest or the condition, use or receipt of any prizes. Failure to comply with the foregoing, or the return of any prize as undeliverable, may cause the winner to forfeit their prize and DIB to reserve the right to select an alternate winner. Except where prohibited by law or regulation, winner's acceptance of prize will constitute permission for DIB, its affiliated companies, sponsors or prize donors to use winner's name, likeness, and statements for any purpose in reference to the giveaways without additional compensation, consideration or consent.PRIZE: Downtown Pensacola Gift Certificates or Gift Cards totaling $1,000, redeemable in participating Downtown merchant businesses. Gift certificate/cards have no cash value and may not be redeemed for cash. The number of eligible entries received during the entry period determines the odds of winning a prize; the estimated odds are 1:7,000. DIB reserves the right to change or replace the prize at any time with a prize of equal or greater value. The prize is not transferable, assignable nor redeemable for cash. All Federal, State and Local laws and regulations apply. Winners will be responsible for all Federal, State or other applicable taxes in connection with the receipt of prizes.OFFICIAL RULES AND WINNERS LIST: For a copy of these Official Rules, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board, 226 South Palafox Place, Suite 106, Pensacola, FL 32502. For a list of prize-winners, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board, 226 South Palafox Place, Suite 106, Pensacola, FL 32502. All requests for a list of prize winners must be received no later than 45 days after the above mentioned end date of the contest.The "All I Want" holiday giveaway is part of downtown Pensacola's First City Lights Festival. Funded in part by grants from the City of Pensacola and Visit Pensacola, the dazzling lights of the First City Lights Festival have become a popular attraction for visitors and residents alike. Pensacola’s Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) conceived the idea of lighting up the district, then coordinating, supporting and branding all of the district’s diverse holiday events synchronously.
Downtown Improvement Board Looks Back on a Year of Incredible Progress
Posted: Nov 10, 2018 10:29 PMUpdated: Mar 14, 2019 8:56 PM
Buzzing with development of all kinds — a new hotel, restaurants, reimagined historic landmarks, unique retail shops and galleries, 258-apartment residential development, multi-story YMCA complex and more — today’s Downtown Pensacola didn’t get here by happenstance. Fiscal Year 2018 was a transformative year, full of growth and record numbers of visitors. The Downtown Improvement Board recently submitted its annual update to the City of Pensacola and the Community Redevelopment Agency, outlining its accomplishments and ongoing efforts since October 1, 2017. Some of the highlights include:Ensuring a Safe DowntownHired a nighttime DIB Ambassador to patrol the Jefferson St. Garage after hours.Purchased a maintenance golf cart to improve ambassador response times, remove and transport debris.Painted new striping to designate handicapped parking in DIB-managed parking areas; reported and tracked pavement and ramp issues, lights out, sidewalk cracks.Creating a Clean DowntownPurchased a new waste management system for disposing of the tons of waste produced downtown, that uses clean technology, is quiet and is out of sight.Pressure washed sidewalks throughout the entire district in November and April.Removed waste, spills, graffiti and debris from the garage, elevators, sidewalks, parks and other public areas.Effecting a Well-Managed Downtown DistrictReduced dependence on third-party vendors for parking management, saving $150K per year.Offered an RFP and conducted a parking study to identify ways to improve the parking experience downtown.Began replacing the Jefferson St. Garage lights with cleaner, brighter LED lights, which offer a higher level of safety for downtown visitors while generating additional savings on annual energy costs.Creating a Vibrant DowntownAttracted record-breaking attendance to DIB-sponsored events: Umbrella Sky Project, Palafox Market and First City Lights Festival, and supported more than 50 events executed by other organizations.Earned the designation "Florida's Greatest Place" through a voter poll by the American Planning Association.Initiated a purposeful and strategic approach to placemaking with public art, streetscaping and lighting improvements throughout the district.The DIB is led by a volunteer board made up of downtown community leaders and business owners and one representative each from the Pensacola City Council and Escambia Co. Board of County Commissioners, who work with DIB staff and volunteer committees with diligence and purpose to ensure the vitality of the district, increase property values, retain downtown businesses and attract new commercial and residential investment downtown. The vision throughout the year has been to create a safe, clean, well-managed, vibrant downtown district for employees, residents, property owners and visitors.View the complete DIB FY2017-18 Presentation to the City by clicking here.[PHOTO CREDIT: Laura Bogan]
A Conversation with Donald Shoup: Renowned Parking Expert Shares Insights with DIB
Posted: Oct 23, 2018 3:26 PMUpdated: Feb 1, 2019 12:13 AM
In October 2018, renowned parking expert Donald Shoup was in Pensacola giving a talk as a guest speaker at CivicCon, discussing “how to get parking right." On the following day, the Downtown Improvement Board leveraged the opportunity to invite Shoup to meet with the DIB board and management to discuss downtown parking, specifically, and to seek his insights on the district's parking system and its challenges. In his CiviCon presentation, Shoup explained his theory that parking can be vastly improved with three fundamental steps, as explained in his 2005 book, The High Cost of Free Parking. He recommended finding a more positive balance by:1. Charging the right price for on-street parking – This means charging the lowest reasonable amount to ensure that there is always a small handful of available parking spaces2. Spending the revenue from paid parking to benefit metered neighborhoods – By using the revenue from paid parking to directly benefit the areas from which it is generated, Shoup argues that the money goes into the meter, and subsequently comes back to benefit people in various ways3. Removing off-street parking requirements – Finally, Shoup posits that the combination of removing off-street parking requirements and charging the "right" price for on-street parking, will cause parking to eventually self-regulate. Without off-street parking requirements, these off-street spaces can then be given alternative uses In our continued pursuit of creating a great downtown parking experience, the DIB is taking expert opinions such as those of Donald Shoup into consideration, along with ideas and suggestions from the community, to bring about positive changes in the downtown parking experiences of visitors, residents and merchants.About CiviConCiviCon is a series of public town halls and workshops with the nation's leading thinkers and experts who share their expertise on what it takes to build strong communities. The four-year project is hosted by the Pensacola News Journal in partnership with Studer Community Institute. Click here to watch Donald Shoup’s full CivicCon talk.