Ballard office gets free parking

December 12, 2007
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Bagged MetersThe cost of parking is one of the top reasons office space has been a tough sell downtown when compared to the suburbs. But it's not a problem if you're the mayor-elect. Thanks to a favor from the IMPD, Greg Ballard and his transition team are enjoying free parking downtown. The team has moved into part of the ninth floor of the Majestic Building at the corner of Pennsylvania and Maryland streets. Police have bagged every parking meter along the block west of the building as a courtesy for the new mayor. Transition spokesman Robert Vane confirmed the temporary arrangement.
  • This sounds completely legitimate. One would expect that there would be a need for many visitors to come and go for short periods and thus the need for a near-by parking spot.
    Besides, the Jefferson Plaza is nearly completely empty, so it's not like their tenants need the parking spots for their visitors...honestly, I saw all the bags and assumed that Greg Allen worked out a deal with the city for his construction crew...
  • maybe it's just because i'm wary of ballard, but this stinks.
  • Legitimate?! Any other business or office that you need to visit downtown
    requires paid parking. You park in a garage, you pay a fee. This freebee
    isn't set up as a service to the people visiting the mayor's office, it's set
    up as a service to the mayor and his staff . . . and we know it's not really
    free. Get our your wallets.
  • Gee, Matthew,

    What about the Broad Ripple merchant who requested and received a permit to bag the meters on Broad Ripple Ave. a few months ago?

    Is anyone going to check the facts about bagging meters before we all jump to conclusions?

    Guess the reality is that in some situations, public servants are less equal.
  • Who cares?
  • They are only ONE block away from the field house parking garage. Give them space in that. Is this how Bollard going to start in office. Putting himself and HIS people first in front of tax paying people. I'm so glade that IMPD well bent over and spread it for him.

    I say free parking. How are they going to know your working for bollard or having a meeting with the new mayor? I say park there and when/if you get a ticket, send it to IMPD with a note saying I was sucking up to the new mayor
  • What a hypocrite! I thought he was all about using less tax payers dollars. This is utterly appaling if you ask me!
  • Ballard blows
  • We were downtown a couple of weeks ago on Saturday night for a Christmas Party and most of Illinois, Capitol, Maryland as well as Washington in front of the statehouse was bagged. It was ridiculous. This was the same weekend as some cheerleading or dance competition. The garages were full because there were not street spaces.
  • While you are at it, why not look at what Brizzi and the prosecutor’s office are doing on Ohio and Alabama Streets, and all the corrections employees that have sheriff’s window passes who occupy meters all day long forcing visitors to pay higher hourly rates in the garages, and therefore do not want to shop and visit downtown. My guess is that makes the bottom line look better for the budget, since they don’t have to pay for the passes, but its lost revenue for the city from the meters.
    Yes city and county parking is usually paid for, but these county employees should be parking in the garages, like city employees so that they can help meet the minimum occupancy requirement contract the city has with Dennison management (for Conseco garage) that guarantees so many parkers with Denison.
    And yes, this is even if the employee wants a buy out to ride mass transit, instead of parking on the city’s dime. (To be fair, the employees can have a free bus pass, but not the monthly cost of their parking pass).
  • So how is this a Property Lines issue? I thought this was a real estate blog. How about some property reporting.
  • Cory, would you be up for researching the legitimacy of bagging meters in the first place? It gets worse every year.

    I don't recall ever seeing it in other cities to the extent we have it here. I'm afraid that since no one questions it, IMPD has gone bag-happy, instead of looking for other solutions. Our streets are extremely wide, we don't need to bag whole swaths of downtown to accommodate traffic, and especially not to accommodate Political favors.

    This may not technically qualify as cronyism, but it sure reeks of it.
  • wow, first I agree this is really not a real estate issue. If you wanted to talk politics, put it on a politics blog. Second, it is not the end of the world. As stated, there is no commerce going on at the Jeff Plaza. Third, the Mayor gets a budget from the City for transition. So if we charged these people for parking, they would just claim it as expense money anyway.
  • I'm with ablerock. What is the deal with bagging meters anyway? It drives me batty. I'm not ready to condemn Ballard for it yet, but I do find it obnoxious. Doubly so since we have more bagged meters downtown than we have starlings. And I think it's the extent of the practice that makes it a real estate issue regardless of how Ballard fits in.
  • Is this a real estate blog? C'mon Cory. How about posting:

    - Simon's Mall Sale at Lafayette?
    - The 2000 multifam units planned in the 146th st corridor
    - the stutz tower

    this is only what I came up with after 10 sec of thought.
    there is a ton of worthy real estate stuff out there!
  • pig and all
    meters are bagged by authority of the DPW board if you want to see less meter bags go to the DPW board and remonistrate against it. You have a voice in almost every case. Make your voice heard or shut up
  • Whatever, there is still an over abundance of free parking in the downtown area, you just have to be willing to walk. This shouldn't affect anyone and isn't worth a blog. There isn't a parking issue downtown just a bunch of lazy people.
  • Thanks for answering my stupid question, Larry. I'll do just what you say and make myself the Cindy Sheehan of meter-bagging!
  • I agree with ablerock. The bagging of meters to accommodate vehicular traffic has gotten out of hand.

    In my opinion, any type of street life and energy that major events can potentially bring to downtown is squelched by the having wide, barren streets as a result of meter bagging.
  • Still not sure why this is even in Property Lines. What a bad blog. Sorry, I love this blog, but this one stinks.

    I need to state the obvious, and that is that those meters were bagged most of the time anyway (even before Ballard), and city wide, any time there are 'big' events the meters are bagged. It's a homeland security and safety issue from what I understand.

    I for one love curbside parking, but we all have to acknowledge that they do make for less safe driving and walking downtown.

    And some of you on this list that were quick to gripe were the first to gripe about Ballard in the first place. Your opinions are pocked with blind ignorance and bias. I love how people want to fire him before he's even started the job. Way to give it a 'fair' shot. I'm glad I don't work for you.
  • Many meters are bagged for big events to make traffic flow better. There is nothing worse than having traffic in 1 or 2 lanes stopped because someone is trying to squeeze into a small space.
  • Why is this an outrage again? Every day the city covers parking meters for a variety of reasons. If you want to get snippy about the Mayor-Elect needing access to his future office (along with staff), why aren't people complaining about all of the meters they covered up on New York St and Mass Ave, during the condo construction (Mauer backed project). I suppose if you wanted to find a reason to complain about the new mayor, you could use this free parking as fuel for the fire. However, it goes on every day.
  • Keystone Construction and Todd Mauer are paying the city something in the order of $80 per day per meter for while 3 Mass is being completed. This is to account for lost parking revenue and the anticipated loss of 2 parking tickets per day.
  • JoBu wrote that curbside parking makes for less safety for pedestrians.

    Actually, it's the opposite. A row of parked cars makes sidewalks much safer. A barren street without parking becomes a raceway, as anyone who drives north and south on Penn/Delaware or Capitol/Illinois at rush hours knows. And even though it's a pain in the rear to park on Mass Ave, the narrow travel lanes coupled with the parking give a very safe, small-town feel to a very wide right-of-way.
  • Dear Larry,

    Thanks for the tip. I was unaware of how to address the situation. I will be contacting the DPW to see what can be done about eliminating this abuse of public property.

    Please don't tell myself or others here to shut up. This is a civil forum

  • CDC...I said driving and walking. Use the full text of the quote please.

    Driving...Slows or stops traffic, drivers get impatient, car doors fly open as parking parties exit/enter their vehicle. Badly parked cars force traffic into other lanes, sometimes causing vehicles to straddle the oncoming lane (on the two way streets).

    Walking...Peds trying to get into/out of their vehicles (as listed above) with traffic moving by. J-walking (yes, it shouldn't happen but it does) becomes more risky, as parked vehicles obscure the view for vehicular traffic.

    You can't convince me that freeing downtown streets of parked cars doesn't make for a safer environment. The traffic is there no matter what during events, and rarely do cars FLY through those streets, as the timing of the lights limits that potential.

    Not wanting to duke it out on a non-issue to begin with, but not only was I not directly quoted, but you seem to ignore that there ARE dangers to having parked cars on the street. I won't even go into the Homeland Security concerns (because I don't think they really apply to Indy).
  • Many of the cases cited here are, indeed, paid for by those requesting the permits (the 3 Mass project, and the Broad Ripple situation are examples). Some are for security reasons (Capitol St in front of the State House; near the Federal Building). I think the ones on Washington at Capitol may be paid for by IRT for valet parking.

    The DPW Board doesn't approve every bag or every permit--they typically only hear those where the requestor asks to have the fees associated with the bagging waived ($15 per meter, per day). Only non-profits or governmental entities can request a waiver of the fees to block out parking meters.

    And IMPD does also bag meters at their own discretion for events or other reasons that are known only to them.
  • Thanks, jacques. Appreciate it.
  • May I just say that the contractors at the future Allen Plaza (aka 1 Virginia Ave.) must also be interviewing for the 2,000 jobs with the city of Indianapolis/Ballard administration.
    Ever since those bags went up, at least a third of those spaces are used by Deem Heating and Cooling.....
  • Benjamin is right! There is tons of parking - some free and most is cheap. Indy's suburban mindset really shines whenever the topic of parking comes up. Hoosiers LOVE to park right next to the door and complain at the slightest bit of urban inconvenience. Unfortunately, this has shaped our cityscape with lasting consequences, but it's getting better.
  • This has been going for far too long...the bagging of meters! Prior to the Peterson Administration, it didn't happen unless a big event was coming, now it's every damn day, all over downtown, and for the flimsyest reasons! Just because people work for government, this should not give them, or the city fathers in charge, any more right to park free at the meters than the rest of us. It has hurt the downtown lunch industry bigtime, and it has hurt any real accessability for those coming down there during the day to eat, shop, run errands, or whatever! Power and paranoia has swept the politicos mind into an 'us' and 'them' mentality, and we the citizens get the punishment and inconvienience for it. Governement employees should be parking in a government employee lot, or paying for a space like the rest of us. The Ballard parking deal is no big deal, in fact I hope he realizes that less arbitrary bagging will be in his best interest! The current administration made it the arrogant and frustrating situation that is is today!
  • I guess I'm confused. Why wouldn't the mayor of our city, no matter who he/she is, get to park (along with their staff) inside of our around the City-County building? How on earth could that ever be construed as a misuse of power? I think he should have 5 exclusive spaces in the basement (out of the rain). He's the mayor of our darn city for God's sake people. And when the President happens to visit, should he have to park in a Parking Garage somewhere a block away? What about visitors that the Mayor may have in his car? Hold on, let me get out my parking pass and this is just a short walk. Goodness, why would we ever make the job of the Mayor's office less efficient. I'd think we would want them to have fingertip access to any resource (including parking) to streamline efficiency. With all the crap that he will have to endure by wading through the uncertainly of any public office, I think we should give a pretty wide breadth to anyone who is willing to put their reputation on the line as a public servant. Some of those comments up above there use the word Public Servant as those they hold contempt for that title...amazing. I also like how the attack also went straight for IMPD. Yeah, let's also bash those guys/gals who risk their lives and endure criticism for a living so we can walk around downtown safely. That makes good sense. I'd hate to see when the actually does make a mistake (which he will...and so would you). Let's see how he does with the City of Indianapolis before we make him walk in the rain to run it for us.

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