Orlando woman wants to get results after Social Secuity office parking woes

News 6 asks officials what can be done to remedy parking situation

By Vanessa Araiza - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - If you've ever been to the Social Security office in Orlando, you may be very familiar with the long lines and sometimes difficult-to-find parking spots.

An Orlando woman wants to get results after her car was towed last week after she says she couldn't find a place to park.

The overflow has created a problem for businesses close to the office, as well.

Angel Garcia says that a few weeks ago, an elderly woman visiting Social Security decided to park in the Polo Apartment complex-- a move that is clearly prohibited if you're not a resident.

The result, he said: About $20,000 in damages.

"She missed all of these trees. I don't know how but she came around from this direction and went right into the living room of that apartment there," said Garcia, a maintenance employee at the complex.

It's an accident Garcia says could have been avoided.

"She was coming from the Social Security, I guess from the parking lot over there, and they didn't have any parking spaces so she came around this way and she was pulling generally into that spot there and she said that she thought she hit the brake and the car, she actually hit the gas and accelerated," Garcia said.

Marilyn Hernandez says the overflow of parking has become such a hindrance, the company has hired a towing company.

"It's very frustrating. You know, the residents that actually live here you know as soon as the overflow starts to come, you know there's not any parking for us. The employees that work in the community," Hernandez said.

7-Eleven has a contract with a local tow company, as well.

Signs line the building and parking lot that clearly states that parking is only for 7-Eleven customers.

Phebe Banks was towed from the 7-Eleven parking lot last week.

"I was in the social security office for about 15 minutes. When I went out to check my vehicle was gone," Banks said.

Banks says she didn't see any parking signs posted at the convenience store.

She told News 6 she even patronized the store after parking there.

We called and emailed the Social Security office.

Patti Patterson, regional communications director with the Social Security office, says that on average, about 700 people visit the center each day.

There are 169 parking spots including eight for the handicapped and public transportation is also available.
Patterson says most services can be conducted over the phone or online (1-800-772-1213 or TTY-800-325-0778) or online (www.socialsecurity.gov).

News 6 asked if there had been any complaints about the parking and how it could be remedied.

We were directed to the General Services Administration, which then sent our questions to the leasing section.

Greg Andrews with GSA says the requests have been submitted but that it may take a day to get answers.

News 6 will bring you the updates as soon as they come in.

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