Downtown parking enforcement restarts Monday

Downtown workers, visitors and residents should prepare to curb their pandemic parking habits, as city regulations will go back into effect on Monday.

The Columbus Board of Works voted Tuesday to adopt the Columbus Parking Commission’s recommendations on resuming downtown parking enforcement and put them into effect Monday. The enforcement will be a limit of 3 hours of on-street parking downtown, as per city rules.

“Since we’re noticing an increase in the amount of employee parking back downtown, we feel like that enforcement needs to probably follow suit,” said parking commission chairman and Columbus City Councilman Tom Dell.

During the pandemic, enforcement of all downtown three-hour parking regulations was put on hold (with the exception of handicap spaces). Businesses were also allowed two short-term pickup spaces.

The commission’s resolution recommended to the board that enforcement of all time limit restrictions should restart and also suggested a “grace period” with the use of warning tickets. In addition, the resolution states that all parking spaces for short-term carry-out pickup should be removed, with spaces reverting to previous time limits.

The city has already ended carryout parking, commission member and city engineer Dave Hayward said at a previous meeting.

In regards to the warning period, Dell told the board that they’re not seeking to change the existing ordinance at this time.

“So what we’re doing is just putting our enforcement people back in to enforce the ordinance the way that it is, at this point,” he said. “Everybody, within that ordinance, gets a yearly warning ticket.”

Lisa Williams, who is the Columbus Police Department’s representative on the commission, told the Republic that an individual’s first overtime parking violation of the year receives a warning. Each subsequent violation brings a fine of $40.