Parking Changes Coming to Italian Village
The city’s Division of Mobility Options, responding to the concerns of neighborhood leaders worried about the current parking-crunch in Italian Village, has come up with a plan to free up 125 spaces during the morning and afternoon rush-hours in the neighborhood.
Rick Tilton of the city’s Department of Public Service says that the no-parking signs on both North Fourth Street and Summit Street are scheduled to come down the week of August 25th. On Summit, the signs on the west side of the street that currently prohibit any stopping between 7 and 9am on weekdays will be removed from Fifth Avenue to Warren Street, while on Fourth the signs on the east side of the street that prohibit stopping from 7 to 9am and from 4 to 6pm will be removed from First Avenue to Fifth.
Neighborhood resident Jason Sudy, an Italian Village Commissioner who’s also taking part in a working group formed last fall to discuss parking issues in the Short North, sees the removal of the parking restrictions as a “smart incremental step that’s part of the bigger recipe of transportation solutions for the neighborhood.”
He sees the tensions arising around parking in the neighborhood as a symptom of the economic health of the Short North – new housing, apartments, and businesses are bringing more residents and visitors to the area.
“To continue our upward swing, we’ll need low-cost, effective short-term improvements that play into a long-term strategy for the entire area with regard to automobile access, parking, bike facilities, mass transit, and pedestrian opportunities.”
Apart from adding needed parking to the neighborhood, Sudy also sees an upside to decreasing the number of lanes available to moving cars on Summit and Fourth.
“As a practicing city planner in addition to my commission role, I’m a strong advocate of limiting roadway sections to the fewest moving lanes needed to allow adequate capacity… the consistently parked cars will narrow the overall width of the potential moving traffic, creating a shorter crossing distance for pedestrians and slowing the overall speeds due to the physical and visual cues to drivers.”
Photo by Walker Evans.