Short On Parking: Bagged Meters & Construction Putting A Dent In Short North Businesses

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UPDATED: Friday August 15, 2014 6:44 PM

The arches say Short North. But the orange bags say: short on parking.

Customers and business say a parking shortage is dampening the attraction of the Short North.

"Not very good," is how one woman in the area described parking as she darted for a car parked in the middle of High Street.

Service workers agree.

"There's not very much parking because of construction," said Lemongrass bartender Kaitlyn Roush.

People in the Short North say construction projects that started a year ago are the reason.  New projects are being built over old parking lots and bagging parking meters.

Roush says that's put a chill on her business.  "It's been really slow.  In the past few months we've had such turnover - even with long term employees who have had to get second jobs. "

Chesney Jenkins, a counter worker at Chocoholique, says the few parking spots that are left usually get snatched up by construction workers.  "We were way busier last year," said Jenkins.

And just across the street, a coffee shop just posted a sign saying it will no longer open on Mondays. An employee says parking problems have slowed business to a drip.  "I get calls multiple times a day from people wanting to come here for lunch, but not knowing where to park," said Joe Samons of MoJoe Lounge.  "It's hurting all of our wallets."

The city says help is on the way. The city says help is on the way. It says it will lift no parking restrictions on hundreds of meters and eventually, parking facilities that are now under construction will finally be finished.  The city also hopes a park study will help find good solutions to the problem.  The study is expected to be completed by the fall.

Meanwhile, a deputy director the Department of Public Service says the city is doing what it can to address parking issues.  "We are working with the neighborhood, working with businesses to try to make it better for people who are looking for parking places," said Rick Tilton.

Roush says she has faith in the city, even if it is guarded.  "I have hope.  I do.  I mean I am not banking on it, but yeah," she laughs.

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