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'It’s demoralizing': Rideshare driver, business owner upset over new safety measures in Short North

Mayor Andrew Ginther said parking limits and voluntary curfews will be in place until we make the city safer.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Some local businesses say the city’s solution to crack down on crime is doing more harm than good in the Short North. Mayor Andrew Ginther said parking limits and voluntary curfews will be in place until we make the city safer.

Bexx Harker has worked for Uber full-time for four months and says the Short North is typically a big money-maker, but this weekend they were ticketed outside of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, a place Harker says they wait for riders all the time.

"They ticketed me for slow speed, stopping on the side of the road with my four ways on blocking a moving lane and I was in front of the convention center waiting for my fare to get in the car,” said Harker. “That's the only place to pick people up there because there's nowhere else for them to go up... they have to exit onto High Street.”

Harker said the cost of the ticket was very upsetting.

"It looks to be probably a hundred-dollar ticket, that's half of what I made last night. That's everything I made up until that point, so it was pretty demoralizing,” said Harker. "I don't know what they want us to do at this point, there's a lot of confusion."

The same confusion Harker shares with business owner Shawn Shahnazi of Chophouse 614 who said curfews and parking limits are not the answer.

“About eight of my clients, came for a 9 p.m. reservation, 9:30 p.m. reservation so of course, they parked their cars in the street, they weren't going to be finished with dinner at that time. By the time they came out they had a $55 dollar ticket right out on the street,” said Shahnazi.

Shahnazi said he reimbursed his patrons over $300 that night so he wouldn't lose future customers.

"In my last two weeks, my sales were down by $30,000 because of the shooting, so we are already down anyway,” said Shahnazi.

He said the loss is unacceptable and unsustainable.

"This is the only street that is well-lit where people feel safe. So you're going to tell them don't park here, but go park on the side street where it's dark? Of course, they're not going to come,” said Harker.

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