In October 2008, the city of Cincinnati introduced a pilot two-wheeler parking program
. The early stages included involvement from the scooter community, the city’s Parking Services Department and City Council member Chris Bortz’s office looking at a similar program being run in Columbus and thinking it might be something that could work here as well.
Five downtown locations were originally chosen based on a poll that allowed citizens to vote for the spots where they would most like to see the dedicated on-street parking for two-wheelers, in addition to a reduced rate parking location. City planners have noticed that the spots are heavily used when the weather is nice, and have seen steady interest since the program’s inception.
The most popular parking location is at Sixth and Walnut streets. Its central location and proximity to popular establishments seem to be driving the high rates of usership.
Mel McVay, city planner with the city of Cincinnati, says that the department is currently in the process of studying the various locations to determine which spots have been successful and where future spots may be needed based on usership and community input.
The Department of Transportation and Engineering is looking to engage the community once again in this process to ensure that the best data is found in order to make the program a long-term success. “Our greatest asset is getting community input to find potential spots,” says McVay.
The involved two-wheeler community has continued to share their thoughts on future locations and the operations of the existing spots. Since October, the Department of Transportation and Engineering has received over 100 emails in regards to the program.
The community input will be used in conjunction with the Department of Transportation and Engineering’s analysis of the current spaces and compiled into a report to be given to the Economic Development Department in the coming weeks. The hope is to put the information before City Council at the end of June before they take their summer recess.
At that time City Council will be able to decide how best to continue the program and what shape it will take in the future. Such issues as locations of the spots, and whether the spots will remain free, will be up for discussion.
Some of the most notable neighborhoods outside of downtown that have shown interest in two-wheeler parking locations are Northside and Clifton, where the scooter community is particularly strong. Other neighborhoods will receive consideration as well.
In the end it depends upon community input as the parking locations will be used by people at the community level. Those that show the greatest interest have the highest probability of being used and thus being successful.
McVay emphasizes that community involvement is of the utmost importance and stresses residents should continue to share their thoughts and concerns with the City. You can do so by sending an email to [email protected]
Writer: Randy Simes
Source: Mel McVay, City Planner, City of Cincinnati
Photography: Amber Kersley