Thursday, June 25, 2009

Permits, additional spots recommended for two-wheeled parking

In the future, permits may need to be issued for the parking of two-wheeled, motorized vehicles, according to a recent memo from Cincinnati city manager Milton Dohoney Jr.

Launched in October 2008, the Two-Wheeled Parking Pilot Program provides spaces for 15 of these vehicles at five Downtown locations, with no charge for parking.

The City's Department of Transportation and Engineering has tracked the use of the spaces over the past ten weeks, finding that the most popular spots, on Sycamore Street and on Walnut Street, have actually seen overflow parking.

"The parking spots appear to be well used throughout the day, and in fact, many locations have seen an overflow of vehicles on a regular basis," Dohoney says.

Dohoney says that the City has received through e-mail and by telephone positive feedback about the program and requests for additional spots, which led it to develop a proposal for three additional parking spots at 110 E Central Parkway, at Main Street and Gano Alley, and at Elm and McFarland streets.

He also says that feedback received through e-mail and by telephone indicates that riders of two-wheeled vehicles prefer a "corral" system – a painted rectangle indicating where two-wheelers can park – to the current stripe system.

"The system is more efficient because it is up to individual drivers to determine how many vehicles will fit in a given space on a given day based on the size of the vehicles present," Dohoney says.

To pay for the loss of metered parking, signage, pavement markings, and maintenance -- estimated to be around $12,000 annually -- Dohoney says that City administration proposes the implementation of a parking permit system.

Permits would cost approximately $50 per year and would be available at City Hall.

"[Permits] would enable the user to park in any available designated two-wheeler spot," Dohoney says. "A disadvantage of the permit system is that paid users are not guaranteed an available parking spot."

"scooters" photo by Multiple fragments of tissue, courtesy of Flickr.