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Cincinnati Wants To Help You Find A Parking Spot At The Banks

A three-phase parking plan will begin with interstate exit signs, continue onto city streets and keep track of how many parking spots are left in riverfront garages.

With a new entertainment venue on the horizon for the Banks, finding an available parking place on the riverfront is going to become even more important. Luckily, plans are underway for a new advanced signage system that will direct you to a specific spot.

The $6 million program, called Variable Message Sign (VMS), will be phased in, ultimately guiding vehicles to the correct exit, then a garage, and finally in some cases, a parking place.

Here's how it works:

  • Two signs on I-75 and I-71 near downtown, based on traffic flow, will guide you to an exit where there is available parking. This is in addition to current traffic signs. These will be finished this summer.
  • New signs on Second Street, Third Street and U.S. 50 east and west will direct cars to specific garages where there is available parking. These are projected to be ready by summer 2019.
  • Signs on the garages will display how many parking spaces are left. Two parking areas -- The Central Riverfront Garage and a surface lot at Third St. and Central -- will direct cars to specific available spaces. This is also projected to be ready by summer 2019.
Credit Provided
In two parking areas, the Central Riverfront Garage and a surface lot at Third and Central, the technology will guide you to a specific spot. Green means available, red is taken and blue is handicapped.

"This technology is commonly seen in airports and is seen at some entertainment venues across the country," says Banks Project Executive Phil Beck. He sees it being hugely beneficial for Opening Day, other big baseball games, Bengals games, Riverfest, Oktoberfest and more.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County are vetting three proposals for a new entertainment venue at The Banks so parking will likely be even more important along the riverfront. Beck says that would bring an additional 250,000 to 360,000 people downtown every year.

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology