CINCINNATI – Drivers in Over-the-Rhine and Downtown need to be a lot more careful when parking near streetcar tracks as new fines and towing rules go into effect April 22.
That Friday is when vehicles parked on the tracks or outside the white lines along the streetcar route will be stuck with a $50 fine or towed.
These new rules come during the "burn-in" period for Cincinnati's new streetcar system , which begins Tuesday afternoon. Streetcar vehicles must log 310 miles (500 kilometers) before carrying a single passenger, which means streetcars will become a much more common sight on the tracks throughout April.
“This is first and foremost about safety. We do not want to see anyone ticketed or towed, however, parking on or near the tracks is illegal and unsafe,” said Rocky Merz, communications director for the City of Cincinnati. “We recognize this new transportation infrastructure is something everyone needs to get used to. We want people to understand the importance of not parking on, or near, the tracks.”
The streetcar obviously cannot maneuver around parked vehicles, making it essential for motorists to be more conscious of their parking habits.
City officials remind drivers to make sure their vehicle’s side-view mirrors are also inside the lines and to double check for a streetcar before opening a car door.