City Government and Local Government and Downtown parking and Government & Economic Development and Real Estate & Retail and Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Parking rates could double under city plan

August 11, 2010

Downtown and Broad Ripple parking rates would double by 2012 under a city proposal to privatize Indianapolis’ parking operations.

City leaders unveiled details of the plan for the first time at a meeting Tuesday evening, in which they said hourly rates could rise from 75 cents to as much as $1.50 in Broad Ripple and some busy downtown areas.

A long-term lease deal and the additional revenue generated by higher fees would help the city repair streets, sidewalks and alleys in those areas. In addition, the extra money would cover the costs needed to install meters that accept credit cards.

Parking meters already add more than $4 million per year to city coffers. Privatization could double or triple that amount—or generate a lump sum payment of at least $100 million through a long-term lease.

Besides higher meter rates, metered hours would extend to 9 p.m. in busier downtown areas and to 8 p.m. in quieter parts. In Broad Ripple, hours would stretch to 11 p.m.

Most metered parking in the city now runs until 6 p.m., with a two-hour limit.

One of the goals of the proposal is to spur turnover at the most valuable parking spots in downtown and Broad Ripple, which would boost economic development and potentially generate more customers for businesses.

“We’ve created a situation where a lot of people who should be in medium- or long-term parking are in meters for hours at a time,” said Michael Huber, deputy mayor for economic development.

The hourly meter rate of 75 cents has not increased since 1975.

New rates would not take effect until later this year or early next year, depending on when the City-County Council approves a manager, Huber said. City leaders expect to make a recommendation within the next week, which the council could consider at its next meeting Aug. 23.

The city’s formal request for qualifications, issued in February, asked for proposals to oversee all 3,600 metered parking spaces, two city parking garages, two state-owned parking garages and one surface lot, three downtown garages now managed by Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, planned surface and garage parking at the new Wishard Memorial Hospital, and three surface lots and one garage now operated by Marion County’s Capital Improvement Board.

Under the hybrid parking management system, locally based Denison Parking handles meter enforcement while city employees are responsible for meter maintenance and coin collection.  

Indianapolis received 16 responses to its privatization plan and narrowed the number down to seven. Denison, in a proposal with three affiliated partners, is among the finalists.
 

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