Cincinnati parking

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With a new entertainment venue on the horizon for the Banks, finding an available parking place on the riverfront is going to become even more important. Luckily, plans are underway for a new advanced signage system that will direct you to a specific spot.

Bill Rinehart/WVXU

Privatizing the City of Cincinnati's parking system was a key issue when John Cranley was running for mayor in 2013. He opposed the idea, and the plan to privatize eventually fell through. But parking in the city, and how much money the system should generate, is still a contentious issue.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Motorists have had to change some of their habits along the streetcar route in Over-the-Rhine and Downtown. In addition to sharing the road, drivers have to be careful where they park.

Cincinnati's parking meter revenues have increased by 60 percent during the current fiscal year compared to last year.  That is not surprising since the city started charging higher rates and extended enforcement hours.  

From July 1, 2015 thru the end of March 2016, the city collected $4,397,505 from parking meters.  That compares to $2,760,910 during the same period in the last fiscal year.

It looks like people using Cincinnati parking meters will be able to pay with a smartphone app starting sometime in July.  

A Council committee heard that update Monday.  

Cincinnati's city manager says changes are coming to the city's valet parking program.  Harry Black says in a memo starting July 1, valet operators will be required to pay for parking meter charges in their operating zones.  Currently they're not paying the meters. 

Valet operators will be invoiced quarterly for these charges.  In addition, the city will start charging a valet permit fee for such services, but that rate hasn't been determined. 

Cincinnati recently changed some parking meter rates in parts of Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.  
 

It is part of a contract with the Xerox Company to help analyze the city's parking assets.  City officials are reviewing that data and using it to price meters.  

Community and Economic Development Director Oscar Bedolla said smartphone technology is coming soon.

Council wants new parking app ASAP

Jan 26, 2015

Eight members of Cincinnati Council have signed a motion ordering the administration to implement the app that would let people pay parking meters via their smart phones. 

But, when that feature is activated and used, Parking Facilities superintendent Bob Schroer says the paid-for time won't show up on the meter.  “If we wanted to put the time back on the meter, it was going to kill the batteries, quicker,” he says.

Starting Friday, parking meter rates increase in Over-the-Rhine and you'll have to pay to park longer in the evening there and in Downtown.  

Hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.  

In addition, the meter rate in OTR will increase to a $1 per hour.  The Downtown price remains $2 per hour.  

In two weeks, new parking hours and meter rates will be coming to Downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine.  

Starting January 2nd, parking meters will be enforced from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.  Currently meters are enforced from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Central Business District (CBD) and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in most parts of Over-the-Rhine (OTR), and Sunday parking had been free.  

Cincinnati officials said the city is owed about $12 million from unpaid parking tickets dating back to 2005.  But they admit only about half that amount is potentially collectable.  

Finance Director Reggie Zeno said the city does a good job collecting tickets issued to drivers with Ohio license plates.

“We currently are collecting up to 85%, which is a pretty significant collection rate within the state,” Zeno said.  “However the collection rate for non-Ohio tickets are only approximately 60%.”

Cincinnati council and administrators spent much time last year negotiating and defending in court a parking lease with the Port Authority.  Now a new Council is ready to vote on a motion to undo that plan and replace it with something different.

City Council will likely vote Wednesday on a couple motions related to parking in the city.  The Neighborhood Committee approved the items Tuesday.  

Council member Kevin Flynn supported the proposals.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said Friday discussions are still taking place on the future of the city's parking system.  He announced his plan earlier this week that would keep the city in charge, upgrade all meters and use the additional revenues for basic services.  

Cranley said the first step in the process is dropping or revising the previous parking lease agreement with the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati Council could be asked to vote on the latest version of a plan that will impact parking in the city.  There's a motion that would officially end the prior parking lease with the Port Authority that's been on hold since November.  

The new proposal would upgrade city parking meters and garages, but the city would maintain full control of all assets instead of leasing them to the Port, which in turn would have turned day-to-day operations over to private contractors.    

Mayor John Cranley said there'll be local control of all decisions.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is asking council members to sign off on a motion related to the parking lease with the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority. The measure is currently circulating among council members. It would make major changes to the original plan between the city and the port.

Cranley could publicly release details of the plan Wednesday.

Ohio Supreme Court won't hear parking lease case, restraining order denied also

Sep 4, 2013

The Ohio Supreme Court has declined jurisdiction in the Cincinnati parking lease case.  City Solicitor John Curp confirmed that in an e-mail Wednesday morning.

The case involved whether city voters had a right to place the issue on the ballot.  A Hamilton County Common Pleas judge said it could go on the ballot, but an Ohio appeals courts overturned that decision.  The appeals court said the city could pass the parking lease as emergency ordinance and avoid referendum.

The Supreme Court decision should end the case.

This week Howard Wilkinson talks about the latest on Cincinnati's parking lease deal and what role the controversial subject will play in the upcoming mayor's race.

Update 6/17/13 9:50 PM:  Hamilton County Judge Robert Winkler signed an order Monday dissolving permanent injunction in the Cincinnati parking lease case.  Judge Winkler also entered a judgment in favor of the city and against the plaintiffs.  Costs to be paid by plaintiffs. With permanent injunction dissolved, city officials should have "green light" to sign the parking lease agreement with the Port Authority.

photo by Michael Keating

This week Howard Wilkinson talks about Council member Christopher Smitherman stepping down as NAACP President, and why Senator Mitch McConnell needs Rand Paul.

CORRECTION: Howard inadvertently said that Smitherman did not step down as NAACP president in the 2011 council election. He did step down.

Cincinnati's parking lease proposal is back in court this week.  Maryanne Zeleznik speaks with Jay Hanselman and Howard Wilkinson about what to expect.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and other officials held a round table discussion with reporters Tuesday to talk about the benefits of the parking lease for the city.  

They talked about several things including rates, hours and enforcement.  But none of the information was new.  

Mallory was asked why he decided to hold the session now?  He says to get the facts out.

“Particularly when there’s so much misinformation out there about how this plan works,” Mallory said.  “So we can’t talk about the facts enough.”

A three judge panel of Ohio First District Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Monday in a case concerning the city's parking lease.  

The city argues a Hamilton County Judge made an error when he declared all city ordinances are subject to referendum.  It also argues the plaintiffs who brought the case don't have standing to bring their claims.  

The lawyers who filed the lawsuit for the taxpayers submitted their brief to the appeals court Monday.  

Cincinnati lawyers are making two major arguments as the city appeal’s a judge’s decision that let opponents of the parking lease place the issue on the November ballot.  

In a brief filed Friday with the Ohio First District Court of Appeals city lawyers argued the trial court erred by declaring that all city ordinances are subject to referendum and that the plaintiffs have standing to bring their claims. 

Not surprisingly the attorneys who successfully challenged the Cincinnati parking lease in court are opposed to the city's request for a judge to stay his decision from last month.  

Lawyers Curt Hartman and Chris Finney filed a response in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Thursday.  

Cincinnati is asking a Hamilton County judge to stay his decision on the city's parking lease while the case is appealed.  

The city said the judge's decision has made it impossible for Council to pass a law that takes effect immediately.

The city argues the First District Court of Appeals has already ruled a stay in favor of the government applies even in referendum cases.  

Judge Robert Winkler issued an opinion two weeks ago barring the city from moving forward with the lease until residents get a chance to vote.  

www.andrewhounshell.com

Ohio's 8th District Congressman and Speaker of the House, John Boehner had no competition last year, but in 2014 he will have Democratic opposition.  WVXU Political Reporter,  Howard Wilkinson talks with Maryanne Zeleznik about this new candidate.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Opponents of Cincinnati's parking lease deal turned in more than 19,000 petition signatures Thursday. That means it's likely the the issue will be on the November ballot. They need 8,522 valid signatures.

Former council woman Amy Murray thanked those who signed and circulated petitions.

"The people have the right to ask for this, to have a referendum," says Murray. "And it's something that people feel so passionate about. It will have a huge impact on our business districts."

An appeals court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Cincinnati's parking lease May 6th. 

The First District Court of Appeals released a filing Wednesday with the schedule for the case.

The city will have to have submit its brief by April 19th and lawyers representing the residents who oppose the parking plan will have to respond by April 29th. 

The court also said those briefs could be no more than 20 pages long.  That split the difference between the two sides.  The city had suggested a 15 page limit and the opposing lawyers wanted 25. 

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati's Mayor and the five Council Members who voted for the controversial parking lease proposal are asking residents to get the facts before signing petitions to put the measure on the ballot.  

Cincinnati is asking the Ohio First District Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments concerning the city's parking lease plan on either April 18th or 22nd. 

The city would like a decision by May 1st. 

The city is proposing to file its brief with the court next Monday and for the opposing lawyers to provide their response by April 15th. 

A lawyer for the other side said in a filing they can agree with that time schedule although there is a disagreement about how long the briefs should be.  The city wants a 15 page limit, opposing attorneys are asking for 25 pages.

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