We all know that finding a place to park on Wilton Drive is tough, and the construction has made it even challenging. Working with the Wilton Drive Improvement District (WDID) and as a tool to help business, the City Commission decided last month to suspend parking enforcement during the day until the roadway construction is finished at the end of September.

Follow these simple guidelines, and start enjoying the limited, free, daytime parking along the Drive:

• Free parking is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. only.

• There is a four-hour maximum for free parking.

• Parking fees kick in from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily, so be sure to pay for parking using the ParkMobile app or feed the meter. Some meters have been removed for construction, so paying for parking at spaces without meters is via ParkMobile only - use ParkMobile Zone 8021.

• Be considerate of others. Please don't monopolize parking spaces for longer than necessary. When you've completed your business, please be courteous to free up the parking space for other shoppers. 

Visitors to Wilton Drive also have the option to leave their cars at home, and use a ride-sharing service. The city offers a $5 discount on Uber and Lyft rides (worth about three hours of parking fees) on Friday and Saturday nights. The WDID is sponsoring the same discounts on Wilton Wednesdays during the day, to encourage folks to come for lunch. Visit the city’s ride-sharing page at WiltonManors.com/669/Ride-Sharing for the latest discount codes.

Colohatchee Dog Park

Colohatchee Park reopened last month, after a million dollar renovation. There’s a walking trail, fitness zone, and a pristine mangrove preserve. The Dog Park has been enlarged, and I believe we now have the best dog park in South Florida. It was great fun to watch the more than 50 dogs that came to the grand reopening run, play, and interact. Our four-legged friends and their two-legged companions made the event a lot of fun. I am so pleased our city is committed to improving the quality of our parks, understanding that green space is a vital part of our city and what makes us a special community.

Before visiting the park with your dog, you’ll need to obtain a permit, which will come with a key fob that provides entry into the dog play area. To learn more about how to apply, visit the dog park page on the city‘s website at WiltonManors.com/681/dog-park

Art in the Island City

One of the things I love most about our city is its dedicated volunteers and our children. Wilton Art is a community-based group supporting art installations and programs in our city. Through its elementary art 2019 competition, Wilton Art invited all 200 students in 4th and 5th grade at Wilton Manors Elementary to design entries using out of the box designs, colors, and materials. The art work was displayed throughout the city at City Hall, Claudia Castillo Art Gallery, Rosie’s Bar and Grill, and Publix. The top 10 finalists had their work presented and awarded at the April 9 City Commission meeting. We celebrated these talented students along with their families, art teacher, and administrators from the school.

From enjoying free parking on the Drive, to bringing pooches to their new dog park, and to celebrating the art of our children, we have many reasons to appreciate our quality of life, knowing that in so many ways, “life’s just better here.” 

Justin S. Flippen, J.D.

“The People’s Mayor