New parking rules to roll out across Short North

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More changes are heading to the Short North, but this time, in the form of parking.

“Over the course of the past few years, parking has gotten more difficult in the Short North,” said Robert Ferrin, assistant director for parking for the City of Columbus.

So much so, that many say during peak hours, it can be hard to find a spot to park at all.

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The city has plans to change that.

Visitors to the Short North have likely noticed the more than 2,000 bagged new Park Columbus signs around the area. Those bags will be removed the weekend of Jan. 19, with restrictions beginning on Jan. 22.

“With all the new development, all the new people moving to the Short North, what we want to do is create a consistent parking management plan that helps to eliminate confusion, increases customer service and increases access,” Ferrin said.

Along with those reasons, Ferrin sites the need to create more parking turnover and push drivers to use garages.

PARKING METERS

Visitors can still pay the meters the traditional way with coins or card. Now, they with the option to pay over the phone with the ParkColumbus smartphone app.

The app requires users to find their meter, select the duration of stay and pay by phone.

This will be the case with all meters around the Short North, including new green meters which cap users at 30 minutes.

But the most noticeable change for meter users will be the cost.

The price for metered parking will increase from 75 cents per hour to $1 per hour between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

From 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., the meter cost rises to $2.

The rise in prices bring parking to a “market rate,” Ferrin explained to 10TV.

“The price increase will help us guarantee that there will be available spaces,” Ferrin said. “Right now, the on-street parking is the cheapest parking availability and because of that, parking is always packed.”

STREET PARKING

Currently, about half the streets in the Short North have some type of parking restriction.

Starting Tuesday, Jan. 22, all streets will have the same parking restriction of three hours paid parking from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. with permit parking only overnight.

To pay, visitors will need to call the posted 1-800 number or use the ParkColumbus smartphone app.

RESIDENTS

While the changes will affect the cost of parking for visitors, Ferrin tells 10TV that many residents are not yet prepared for the new parking plan.

There are about 7,000 addresses eligible for Short North parking but so far, only a little more than 10 percent have applied for a new parking permit, with less than two weeks to go until changes take effect.

Residents in the area can find out how their street will be affected by using this interactive map, which is color-coded by zone and payment requirements.

The way in which residents’ addresses appear on the map, need to be how they are worded when applying for a permit, here.

Documents outlined need to be ready to upload as proof of address.

In the long run, these changes are expected to improve resident experience, Ferrin said.

“We are hopeful that with consistency, with one message and one restriction across the entire area, that certainly that can help residents, resident guests as well as visitors to the Short North,” he said.