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Columbus City Council discusses parking problem

The Columbus City Council discussed a proposed plan to deal with the parking problems affecting the downtown area.

The city's Parking Committee, represented by First District Councilman Dascal Bunch, presented a proposal Tuesday night that would see fines for parking infractions increased to $50 per occurrence. Those fines would need to be paid within 72 hours. The correct fine is $20. Under the proposal, first time offenders will receive a warning, while subsequent infractions will see the increased fine. "It's about changing behavior, not generating revenue," said Bunch.

Bunch added that the proposal includes the purchase of equipment to make it easier to determine who is abusing the three-hour parking in downtown. This new equipment would allow workers or volunteers to scan license plates and time-stamp them, making it easier to determine who is using the premium spots more than the alloted three hours.  

Downtown business owners and operators were not happy with the proposal. Members of the Downtown Merchants Association and other business owners told the council that $50 is too high of a penalty and that once word gets out, people will stop visiting downtown.

Some merchants argued for paid parking downtown. They say that as things stand now, visitors to downtown, and even some who live and work there, are unsure about where to park. They cited confusion over the parking garages and who is allowed to use them and when. They say that across-the-board paid parking will eliminate much of the confusion and open up more parking downtown.  

This parking proposal is expected to come up for first reading at the July 29 meeting of the Columbus City Council.

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 4:47:34 PM

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