City parking commission to discuss downtown parking Thursday

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Columbus Parking Commission members will continue to discuss possible changes to downtown parking at its meeting Thursday.

The commission meets at 2:15 p.m. Thursday in the Cal Brand Meeting Room at Columbus City Hall.

According to Columbus city councilman and commission chair Tom Dell, the group will discuss the idea of changing the enforcement area for downtown parking.

“Last time there was some discussion on shrinking that just to Washington Street only, and then there was some discussion on whether we needed to add Fourth or Fifth Street,” said Dell. With that in mind, officials have calculated the number of parking spaces included within the entire downtown area, as well as what’s included in the current enforcement area and what other options might look like.

The commission’s decision of where to concentrate parking enforcement will be part of its recommendations for a new parking ordinance, said Dell. The discussion around the enforcement area will also lead to discussion of what would be the best strategy to create turnover and availability of spaces.

Dell hopes that the commission will be able to send recommendations to the city’s Ordinance Review Committee by December, with a finalized ordinance later going to Columbus City Council.

It’s possible that the matter could also go to Columbus Board of Works or the Redevelopment Commission, depending on what is included in the parking recommendations, Dell said.

“I think everybody agrees that what we have in place now, within the ordinance, doesn’t work and isn’t fair,” said Dell. “And so we’re trying to find a better solution to what we have. It doesn’t necessarily have to be equipment and kiosks or paid parking. It could be a similar process to what we’re doing now by just changing the way we do it.”

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.