Columbus City Council tonight is scheduled to vote on a series of parking code changes.
At a public hearing on the changes last week, Columbus assistant director for parking services Robert Ferrin said one change would create six dedicated parking spaces for car-sharing services in the Short North, German Village and Downtown. The changes would allow Zipcar, a car-sharing firm, to begin operating in these neighborhoods.
Other vehicles would not be permitted to use the car-sharing spaces. Ferrin says six dedicated spaces per neighborhood could expand to up to 30 for Zipcar or any operator in the future.
Prior to reading a statement from Zipcar at the hearing, Amanda Ford with the Public Service department said the company would bring a valuable service to the city.
Zipcar operates differently from Car2Go, which pays for parking in public spaces. But Zipcar is getting the backing of the city and the Columbus Partnership, a coalition of the region's most powerful businesses. In a rare move, coalition chief Alex Fischer sent a spokesperson to read a statement from him at the hearing supporting the package of code changes.
Another change up for a vote tonight would require vehicles parked on a street to be moved at least 75 feet every 72 hours. Columbus police commander Joseph Schrader says current city code fails to define how far a vehicle has to be moved after the 72 hour limit, allowing owners to move vehicles a few inches to avoid a citation. He says this takes up valuable police time.
Other changes include creating parking benefits districts where net meter revenue may be dedicated to transportation, and allowing the city to restrict parking to two hours where it lacks meters. A benefits district is in the Short North parking plan the city is scheduled to implement this fall. No one spoke against the changes at last week's hearing.