COVINGTON, Ky. — The on-field dominance of the Cincinnati Bengals this season is reminding residents of a nearby neighborhood about a problem outside the stadium: street parking.
Paul Shanley, owner of Molly Malone's Irish Pub, knows just how busy Licking Riverside Historic District has been recently. The northeastern sliver of Covington sits across from the Banks, meaning a lot of Bengals and Reds fans search for parking in the area.
"On the weekends, street parking is free so they are looking for parking spots," Shanley said. "There is a lot going on. There is a lot of other restaurants around here and there are new apartments coming in and businesses that open up."
When those free parking spots fill up, Shanley said customers who want to enjoy those new amenities struggle to find an open spot. Patrick Hughes, president of the Historic Licking Riverside Civic Association, said the need for parking is putting a burden on residents.
"The Bengals success right now is really driving a lot of folks," said Patrick Hughes, president of the Historic Licking Riverside Civic Association. "We have the ovation opening in Newport, so we have concertgoers and all of those people are looking for places to park, and a lot are finding some free parking in our neighborhood."
Hughes said the need for parking has been an issue for a long time, burdening residents. In 2009 the association and concerned residents asked for permit parking in the neighborhood — and they got it. Currently, some streets are permit-only and some are permit only mixed with 2-hour parking for vehicles without permits.
"Our homes and apartments were built a long time ago when they didn't think about cars and parking spaces and garages," Hughes said.
Now, residents are asking the city for help. They are presenting a proposal that would push for more permitted parking throughout the neighborhood. Along street with businesses or parks, like the riverfront, they hope the city will consider a metered system.
"We have a pretty defined plan that breaks it down by block," Hughes said. "There are blocks where perhaps the east side of the street are resident only parking spaces, whereas the west side of the street is going to be public parking for those two hour increments or in some cases even longer."
The civic association will present its plan, a collaboration between residents and businesses that took three years to develop, to the city Monday. City leaders said they are aware of the issue.
"Id say probably in our commercial business districts like Mainstrasse and the neighborhoods that are by the riverfront, including Mother of God, are probably the ones that see the most influx of parking," said Brandon Holmes, Covington's neighborhood services director.
Shanley said his business is not waiting for change, making sure customers know their options by putting parking maps on their websites.
"There's two big city parking lots that hold 1,000-plus cars and it's just a two-minute walking distance from here," Shanley said.
The city meeting, which will be held virtually at 6:30 p.m., asks for input on the final draft of the plan. For more information, click here.