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Outdoor street dining cuts into already scarce parking in Over-the-Rhine

City: Residents can't use passes at metered spots
Posted at 9:20 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-29 11:17:46-04

CINCINNATI — The city of Cincinnati has temporarily closed some streets to traffic to expand outdoor dining options and help keep local restaurants afloat, a move that's cutting down on parking in areas where spots are already scarce.

At the corner of 14th and Race streets, outdoor dining is designed to help an industry that has struggled since the onset of COVID-19 in March.

“It has been difficult to maneuver around OTR,” said Jason Lenczicki, who works in Over-the-Rhine.

He said finding a place to put your car has become a daily challenge.

“A lot of the streets are closed off. The off-street parking, even some meters are blocked off. So, it has been more difficult to get closer to work,” he said.

The outdoor dining means he’s now competing with visitors and residents, many of whom are also paying for a special parking permit, like neighbor Bryan Davis.

“It’s still pretty limited with trying to find parking spots,” he said.

Davis has lived in the neighborhood for about four years. While the new setup is not always convenient, it’s worth the sacrifice to him. Keeping his favorite dining options open in the long term is a two-way street.

“I think it’s okay, honestly. I support local business and everything that’s open. If they have to do it outside, I think it’s great,” he said.

After some confusion from residents over whether residents would be able to use their permits at metered spaces, WCPO confirmed with the city’s permit and license center that it is not the case.