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All Saints Petitioners Ask City for Open-Air Market

Photo of the parking lot off Railroad Ave.
Posted at 7:45 PM, Nov 11, 2015
and last updated 2016-11-21 07:10:42-05

TALLAHASSEE, FL (#WTXLDigital) - A petition circulating the internet is asking Tallahassee officials to preserve a downtown parking lot and by extension, the culture surrounding it.

Joe Berg is one of the organizers that helped start the "Keep All Saints Odd" petition, "Well, this lot gets used everyday... Next year alone we have 31 festivals planned which will bring an estimated 100,000 unique visits."

And Berg says that's in addition to the traffic the lot already sees on a regular basis.

Jeff Distefano is one Tallahassee resident that regularly uses the lot. He says without it, finding parking would be difficult.

"I'm running a few errands today, I was eating at Bread and Roses and I'm going to get some coffee. It's just convenient to have one stop and walk around a little bit," said Distefano.

Area business owners are also stressing the importance of the lot including Jeremy Matlow, the owner of Gaines Street Pies.

Matlow explains that, "Half of our customers park there at night. It affects all the businesses, it's a community parking lot. Everybody goes there for parking."

Forty-two businesses including Gaines Street Pies have signed on in support of the petition.

Organizers say though that saving this lot isn't just about the spots, it's about preserving the legacy of the All Saints District.

"There is a great concept we'd like to see here which is an open-air indoor market. This is a very European concept but it's in major cities all over the united states," says Berg.

Berg also says this market in Cleveland, Ohio, is an example of what the space could be while still preserving the much needed parking spots.

So far, Berg says the petition has received over 1,500 signatures.

A meeting with Tallahassee administrative heads has been scheduled for Monday, November 16 at 11:30 a.m. where concerns over the lot will be discussed.

WTXL reached out to City Officials, however because of the Veteran's Day holiday we have not heard back.

The full petition can be found by clicking here.