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Cincinnati still tweaking proposed OTR parking plan

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Cincinnati officials are still working to fine tune a proposal that could make changes to how residents and patrons park in the city's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.  

For residents it could mean buying a residential parking permit and right now that has a proposed fee of $300 a year.  

Resident Julie Faye spoke about the plan Monday a Council committee meeting.

“My concern is that this is a quick rush to put a system in place before there’s a demonstrated need for it,” Faye said.  “Certainly everybody would like to park in front of their house, but I’m not sure the city owes anybody that right.”

The parking permits are proposed to be used in an area bounded by Central Parkway on the west and south, by Sycamore on the east and Liberty on the north.  

Transportation and Engineering Director Michael Moore told the Council committee it would start as a pilot program that would eventually become permanent.

“I think the first draft of the ordinance that I’ve seen, we had a three year window on it,” Moore said.  “That gives us enough time to massage this and get it right, make sure it’s absolutely perfect and bring it back.  Again I’d like to make sure we have certain touch points in that we come back to Council and say how is it working, and let you know what recommendations we would have to make it work better.”

Some residents and council members are balking at the $300 proposed charge for the residential parking permit.   Right now the city has two other permit programs with a $30 annual fee.

The OTR parking proposal also calls for additional parking meters with longer hours of operation than those currently being used and higher rates.  

The meters are proposed to be enforced Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 1 pm to 9 pm.  The first hour would cost $1; one to two hours would be $2; and two to three hours would be $4.  The meters would be a maximum of 3 hours.

City Council would eventually have to approve any of the changes and right now there's been no formal ordinance presented for consideration.