If you know the Short North, you know that parking is hard and getting harder. Our celebrated Arts District has had growing pains for years.
Beginning January 22nd, 2019, parking in the Short North is going to change. A lot.
Meterless parking, mobile payment, the virtual guest pass. Yes, the future is here.
Bottom line: Parking will now be available on formerly residents-only streets — for a price.
How It Works
Gone are physical permits. Hanging guest passes and residential stickers are no more! Instead, parkers will have their license plate entered into a database and the plates will be scanned.
Everyone will need to learn how to use mobile parking, which means registering for their parking with their smart phones. Not a problem for the tech-savvy; other folks might experience a learning curve.
No one doubts that the City of Columbus has put time, effort, and thought into the new plan. On the other hand, its explanation runs from confusing to very confusing. Here’s what we can glean:
The Affected Area: Six Zones
Why The Change?
Despite the addition of several multi-story parking garages, the Short North’s population and businesses have outpaced the parking supply. For every parking spot added to the Short North, it feels like there are two more cars competing for the space.
Increasingly, businesses are paying the price with a lack of parking for potential shoppers. And their employees have to pay to park or find a different mode of transportation.
On the other hand, residents, who enjoy residential parking permits, fear they will have their usual parking spots taken away if permit restrictions are lifted.
Finding the Best of Both Worlds
Columbus will retain its residential parking restrictions while allowing paid visitor parking in those areas. Visitor parking will be limited to 3 hours.
Additionally, Short North businesses can buy up to 10 yearly permits for their employees.
Of course, this solution is complex. What’s clear, however, is this: there is no clear winner or loser with the new parking plan.
Bottom Line for Visitors: You can park almost anywhere for up to 3 hours. Prices increase closer to High Street. For visitors, this should make everything easier.
Bottom Line for Businesses: You will have an increased number of parking permits for your employees on the rolling price scale seen below.
Bottom Line for Residents: Yet to be seen. Residential streets, much emptier during the day, will provide needed parking for shoppers. Whether residents can depend on their usual parking spots upon returning from work remains an unknown. The goal of the plan is to keep the residents’ parking within two to three blocks of their home, but that distance doesn’t sound ideal.
Bottom Line for Residential Guests: When your friends drive over for a visit, instead of giving them your guest pass to hang from their rearview mirror, you will be required to enter the guest’s license plate number electronically. The guest must park in the zone where you live. Misuse of the hanging guest pass has been an ongoing problem for years; this new system should rectify it.
Caveat for Residents and Residential Guests: Parties just got a whole lot more expensive for you. Time to rethink hosting big get-togethers. Residents will need to pay $25 for a single virtual guest pass for one year. Each additional guest/license plate will cost $6, good for 24 hours (up from the current $1 per extra guest).
How long does your yearly $25 guest pass allow a guest to stay? The city’s parking rules state that “one virtual longterm guest permit can be utilized for one license plate at a time for an undetermined amount of time.” Whether “undetermined amount of time” means an indefinite stay for your guest or that the city hasn’t decided the timeframe yet, remains undetermined.
Bottom Line: Unclear language indicates that there is still some figuring out to do.
What It Looks Like
The new plan encourages greater parking turnover. In other words, the goal is to minimize “the early bird getting the worm” and just settling in for the whole day.
The 3-hour maximum guarantees that non-business visitors cannot claim a spot for an entire workday. And that strange car with a hanging guest pass that squats for an entire week? That won’t happen either.
The already existing meters will not be torn down. Mobile parking will be generally more expensive than metered parking. Meter rates are 1-2 dollars per hour. Mobile parking rates will be 2-3 dollars per hour—except for $1 mobile parking in the outlying campus area and on Fourth Street’s Italian Village area (Zones SNC and SND).
Further Info for Businesses
Business permits allow employees to park in Permit Restricted areas. Each business is limited to ten mobile passes. Each pass increases in price and the final six passes are more restricted than the first four. While the first four allow 24/7 parking privileges in any zone, the final six are restricted to the SNC and SND zones from 6AM to 8PM.
The first 4 employee passes will cost $100 each, culminating at $700 for the tenth. If an employer were going to buy all 10 employee passes, it would cost $3100 yearly.
Use of Funds
Columbus promises to reinvest 100% of all on-street annual parking revenue back into the Short North. That amount comes after City operational and administrative expenses.
An Eye to the Future
The city hopes that this program encourages a slew of new transportation methods. Bus transit, car shares, shuttles, bike shares, and more will all be marketed aggressively in hopes of helping the Short North become more eco-friendly and less congested.
Flexibility and Accountability
The complexity of making such a big change in parking will not come without some growing pains. The City will rely on feedback and committee recommendations from the six zones as the changes are implemented.
Specifically, the committee includes representatives from Victorian Village, Italian Village, the Short North Civic Association, Weinland Park, alongside the Short North Special Improvement District Executive Director and others.
There’s so much to cover about this complex plan. If you have any more questions and concerns about this change, consult the City of Columbus’s coverage of their proposed solution.
Now, a bit about Lykens Companies…
With 20 years (and counting) of experience, we believe that Lykens Companies is just getting started on its mission to offer Columbus hundreds of premier apartments, rentals, and renovations. Each day, we are driving toward constantly expanding and improving our business and bettering Columbus, the city we love. For our renters, that means that they are connected to a proven business that is always striving to be the best. Our success isn’t an accident. We are constantly striving to improve our quality, both in the buildings that we renovate, reimagine, and rent out; moreover, we are striving to improve in the way that our business operates. For you, that means the best units and the best service in the best locations.
As we invest our time, money, and energy into the Short North, Victorian Village, Italian Village, and other parts of Columbus’s urban core, it’s nothing short of amazing to step back and see how much we’re able to impact our city, whether that looks like renovating apartments, houses, or even factories like the Wonder Bread Lofts and the forthcoming Budd Dairy project: a full scale reimagining of an old dairy factory into a Cameron Mitchell food hall and state-of-the-art coworking space.
If you’re looking to rent in Columbus, Ohio’s urban core, you’ve come to the right place. We’re confident that it doesn’t get better than us when it comes to finding the absolute best apartments and rentals in Columbus.
See every availability!
Whether you’re looking for an apartment in the Short North, a rental in Victorian Village, a studio in Italian Village, or a loft in Wonder Bread, our Available Rentalspage will feature all that (and more). We’re constantly adding our newest properties and highlighting that month’s leasing specials. Bookmark it and check often! What if you took two minutes to browse it right now? And don’t forget about our awesome Instagram for updates, new leases, and beautiful photos.
Already a resident? Refer a friend!
At Lykens Companies, we offer a simple and easy referral program to our tenants (and even non-tenants). For each referral of yours who signs a lease, we’ll pay you $200! Be sure to learn everything about this awesome plan and even check out our three methods to actually get your friends to sign a lease.