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New Rules for Downtown Parking Coming in February

Brent Warren Brent Warren New Rules for Downtown Parking Coming in FebruaryPhoto by Walker Evans.
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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published 1/9/2020. On 2/21/2020 the city of Columbus said: “Implementation of the app and meter rate changes may take a few weeks to complete following the Feb. 24 start date.”

The rates of Downtown parking meters will be changing soon, along with the introduction of a new way to pay for them.

The City of Columbus announced today that the changes will be implemented on February 24. On that date, Downtown drivers will be able to use the ParkColumbus mobile payment app – already available in the Short North and in the Brewery District – to pay for meters and to extend their parking time.

And, while there are currently seven different categories of meters Downtown (ranging from 30-minute meters that cost a dollar per hour, to 12-hour meters that cost 40 cents per hour), the new plan calls for just three:

  • Value meters, priced at 50 cents per hour, with no time limit.
  • In-demand meters, priced at $1 per hour, with a three-hour time limit.
  • High turnover meters, priced at $1.50 per hour, with a 30-minute time limit (75 cents for 30 minutes).
A map showing the upcoming meter changes (a full-sized version can be found here).

The changes come after after an outreach process that the city undertook last year, in which it developed new parking plans for Downtown as well as for the University District, Franklinton and the South Side (policy changes for those neighborhoods are forthcoming).

“The City of Columbus is excited to implement the Downtown Strategic Parking Plan and to modernize how we provide accessible and equitable parking and mobility options to Downtown residents, workers and visitors during this time of tremendous growth,” said Jennifer L. Gallagher, Director of the Department of Public Services, in a statement.

The city will track the usage of the meters after the new rules are in place, and re-evaluate the changes after six months. In the Short North, where new parking rules went into effect last January, the city did make changes to some of the new policies last summer.

In addition to the new Downtown rules, the city announced that it has updated its regulations, “to allow for an hourly meter rate increase of 50 cents in locations where on-street occupancy is at 90 percent or higher [and] an hourly decrease of 50 cents if average parking occupancy in an area is less than 30 percent.”

A map showing the existing meters and rates, from the city’s Downtown Strategic Parking Plan (the full document can be found here).
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