CINCINNATI — Those who live in Over-the-Rhine spent its years of rapid growth parking strategically, always conscious of the likelihood that any spot they left vacant would quickly be filled by someone in the neighborhood for a dinner, a bar crawl or a concert.
Weekends were downright treacherous, Over-the-Rhine Community Council Maurice Wagoner said Friday.
“The residents, they have to ride around the block three or four times to find parking spaces for themselves,” he said, adding that being forced to park blocks away from home could be a particular obstacle for seniors.
Wagoner and other residents hope the implementation of a new parking permit system will help ensure spots in the neighborhood stay reserved for people who live there. However, some also worry that more exclusive parking could damage the nightlife on which the neighborhood's economy relies.
Under the permit plan, which started Jan. 1, 402 spaces in the neighborhood are reserved for residents. A year-long permit for each these spaces costs $25 for low-income drivers and $60 for the rest.
For non-residents, parking in one of these spaces will net a $50 ticket starting Feb. 1.
Keith Maloy, a general manager at Taft’s Ale House, said he wishes there were more — particularly during the daytime, when he believes many residential permit holders will be out of the area.
“It would be great to be able to get a daytime pass, maybe ’til 5,” he said. “That would help half our staff. Something that would be less Draconian that what they’re doing now.”
He said he was also worried that fewer publicly available parking spaces could translate into fewer customers for bars such as Taft’s.
“We’re concerned that people won’t be vocal about it,” he said. “They’ll just stop coming.”