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Parking rates could double under city plan

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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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  • What's next selling the airport?
    Only people happy about this is the politically connected winner of this long term contract and a few parking garage owners.
  • Stupid Idea
    I will stay in Carmel instead of hassling with downtown parking.

    Amazing how one Mayor can reverse a decade of progress by Indianapolis Downtown to attract people from the burbs to work and play.

    20 years ago, they identified parking as the #1 problem, And now they throw it all out by pushing free street parking out til 8:00 and doubling rates.

    Why would anyone want to stay after work or bring their family downtown now?
  • $$$
    So what happens to the businesses when people stop coming downtown and to Broad Ripple because of this parking issue? it will look like the old Meadows or Eastgate malls...barren and empty. it only take one small thing like this to make a large ripple effect. i recall reading that this was done in Chicago and the people hate it and the price to park there is a crazy price. maybe this is a plan to make people have to use public transportation.
  • $$$
    Peabody, well said. The city would not need to raise rates or extend hours on these meters if 50% of them weren't bagged over or signed for no parking all the time. It is another example of government forcing people out of the areas that they should be begging them to come to and spend money.
  • $$$
    so to pay for the money that the investor will give the city to run these units the investor will raise the fees to recoup that and the dollars spent on updating meters for credit cards. The money comes from tax payers so technically this is a tax. so to get around saying they haven't raised taxes they privatize it and the increase of fees is not a tax even though that is what happened.

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