Parking commission recommends downtown parking enforcement be reinstated

A sign instructs people to order coffee online outside of Lucabe Coffee in downtown Columbus, Ind., Wednesday, March 25, 2020. To comply with social distancing guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered bars and restaurants, hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors and other service related businesses to close down or switch to carry out and delivery services. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

COLUMBUS, Ind. — With Cummins launching a voluntary pilot program to begin returning some of its employees to downtown Columbus this Monday, the city’s parking commission is hoping to resume enforcement of downtown parking restrictions.

The Columbus Parking Commission approved a resolution recommending that the Columbus Board of Works restart enforcement of downtown parking time limits, which have been put on hold amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commission’s role is to make recommendations to bodies such as the city’s board of works and the city council, officials said. Commission member and city engineer Dave Hayward said that in this case, the board of works has the authority to restart enforcement and determine when that change occurs.

The parking commission’s resolution states that during the pandemic, the board of works directed the Columbus Police Department to suspend enforcement of all downtown three hour parking regulations indefinitely (with the exception of handicap spaces). The city also allowed “two short term pickup parking signs” per business and a 15 minute limit on these spaces, if necessary.

The commission is now recommending that enforcement of all time limit restrictions should restart. They are also suggesting a “grace period” with the use of warning tickets. In addition, all parking spaces for short-term carry-out pickup should be removed, with spaces reverting to previous time limits. The commission recommends implementing these changes immediately.

For the complete story, see Saturday’s Republic.