COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- New parking rules went into effect Tuesday in the Short North, meaning drivers will need to pay for spots which had been free for years. City officials hope the new plan will make parking easier in the area.
Parking has been a common complaint in the neighborhood for years.
"When friends come to visit, it's always the first thing they ask. 'Well, where am I going to park? What am I going to do with my car?'," said Lisa Craig Morton, who lives in Victorian Village and runs the Victorian Village Guesthouse.
New parking signs went up on her street a few weeks ago and were unveiled on Friday. Morton said people who work nearby at Ohio State and downtown have parked in the neighborhood for free for years. That will end with the new rules. Visitors will need to pay the fee using the new Park Columbus app. Details about exact pricing can be found in the app.
City officials spent the last year crafting the new parking policy.
"There's plenty of parking in the Short North," said Robert Ferrin, with the Columbus Division of Public Service. "What this plan does is it manages parking in certain areas to prioritize residents in some areas, businesses in some areas, visitors in other areas."
To complicate matters further, someone vandalized dozens of the signs with black spray paint, making it difficult to read the new instructions. The new signs were put in place January 22.
The new parking rules weren't a welcome change for some people in the neighborhood. Some neighbors complained they would now need to pay $25 for a permit to park when they didn't find it difficult to find parking in the past.
“There are parking issues on High Street, absolutely," said Patrick McCarthy who lives in the Short North and runs Piercology on 2nd Avenue. "(The City is) creating parking issues off of High Street when there was none. People come specifically for this. Lots of our clients come from Dublin, Upper Arlington and they’re not going to download the app they’re going to need down here.”
The ParkColumbus app is free to download.
The City will issue warnings for people violating the new parking rules for the first few weeks. Another problem the city faced was its website didn't have all the addresses which can get a permit. People living at those addresses need to e-mail the city to have that address added so they can buy a permit.