Columbus Proposes Changes To Downtown Parking

Dec 4, 2019

The city of Columbus is issuing a survey so residents can comment on potential changes to how parking works downtown.

Columbus plans to change all downtown parking meters to unlimited parking that costs 50 cents per hour, three-hour parking that costs $1 per hour, or 30-minute parking that costs $1.50 per hour.

The unlimited meters would be operational from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the three-hour meters would be operational from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Columbus Parking Services assistant director Robert Ferrin says the changes would help streamline the downtown parking setup.

“We have about a half a dozen time limits downtown ranging from 30 minutes to 12 hours,” Ferrin says. “And we have rates ranging from 40 cents an hour to $1 an hour.”

He says the parking service department hopes to increase street parking turnover and promote the use of off-street garages: There are about 2,800 on-street meters downtown, compared to 100,000 spots available in street garages and lot parking.

“Part of adjusting the rates is to introduce demand-based pricing,” Ferrin says. “We introduced demand-based pricing to the Short North earlier this year when we had our first rate adjustment in October.”

The changes would be implemented in late February or early March 2020, and the city would conduct a six-month evaluation of the changes. If zones have above 80% occupancy, then the rate will go up 25 cents. However, if zones have an occupancy rate below 60%, the rate in that area will lower 25 cents.

The city plans to integrate the Park Columbus mobile app in downtown spots. It’s already available for use in the Short North, Grandview and the Brewery District.

“We're also gonna be creating a parking benefit district as part of this plan where we'll be reinvesting excess meter revenue back into parking and transportation projects downtown,” Ferrin says.

The changes come as part of the city’s Strategic Parking Plan. Surveys must be completed by Friday and can be access by scanning QR codes on signs posted at downtown meters.