Something shady is going on with the parking system in Key West, and I don’t believe it’s unintentional. I’m talking about their Pay to Park signs and Pay Stations. The system is quite misleading in my opinion, and that’s putting it politely.
Key West has a pay to park system that covers residential streets as well as parking lots, and it works like this – While driving around you’ll see signs that say “Pay To Park In This Block”, and directly underneath that on the same sign, it says “Pay Station Mid Block”. If you read the sign as it’s written, you probably think you’re paying to park on “that” block. We Did! So…. every time we moved our car, whether it was to a new block or one of the many parking lots dispersed about town, we bought a new ticket. What we didn’t know, which we later found out many tourists don’t, is that all tickets can be used in any of the “Pay To Park In This Block” areas, regardless of where they were purchased, as long as there’s time remaining on them. The Pay Stations, however, do NOT inform you of this!!
So, if you purchase a ticket to park on a particular block, you can use that same ticket (provided there’s time remaining on it) to park anywhere you see a “Pay To Park In This Block” sign (in designated areas of course – not in the residential parking spaces). You can also use that same ticket to park in any of the parking lots with the same Pay Stations. This information was provided to us by locals and then confirmed by two local police officers, so I would imagine it’s correct. Unfortunately, we received this information too late, and probably gave the city of Key West well over $20.00 in unnecessary parking fees because of their misleading signs and failure to inform that an existing ticket with time remaining on it can be used elsewhere. Not cool!!