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Cincinnati might eliminate rush-hour parking restrictions city-wide

Cars parked along the curb in Downtown Cincinnati.
Becca Costello
Cars parked along the curb in Downtown Cincinnati.

Some Cincinnati council members want to eliminate rush hour parking restrictions city-wide. Reggie Harris, Meeka Owens, Liz Keating and Mark Jeffreys put forward a motion asking the administration to study the idea.

Parking on many city streets is prohibited from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. so the extra lane can be used to reduce rush hour traffic congestion. The council members say eliminating that restriction is a low-cost way to improve pedestrian safety because parked cars are a barrier between traffic and pedestrians.

Parts of Northside, College Hill, CUF, Over-the-Rhine, and Price Hill already have 24-hour parking,

“One side benefit is we found — in Clifton especially, in business districts — that the businesses really appreciated it,” Jeffreys said. “Think about rush hour — people are trying to get home, especially in a COVID environment — stop off, park right in front of a business, hop in, get something, go home.”

These streets have permanently removed rush hour parking restrictions, according to the Department of Transportation and Engineering:

In Neighborhood Business Districts:

  • Hamilton Ave. in Northside (since 2019)
  • Ludlow in Clifton (since 2020)
  • Hamilton in College Hill (since 2021)
  • Calhoun from Dennis to Clifton in CUF (since 2018)
  • Warsaw from St. Lawrence to Grand in East Price Hill (since 2019)

On through streets:

  • W. 8th from Elberon to Nebraska in West Price Hill (since 2020)
  • Warsaw east of Grand in East Price Hill (since 2021)
  • Vine from McMillan to McMicken in Over-the-Rhine (since 2021)
  • State Ave. in Lower Price Hill (since 2022)

Council Member Jeff Cramerding of Price Hill says it’s been successful.
“Some of the neighbors were skeptical and the police department was skeptical, but it's been very effective in Price Hill in calming traffic and just providing a more neighborhood feel,” Cramerding said.

The motion asks city administration to prepare a report within 30 days on “the feasibility, impact, and implementation of removing the city’s rush hour parking restrictions throughout the entire city.”

“I think it's important that we are very intentional about mitigating issues that are impacting this community at a very low cost, kind of low-hanging-fruit level,” Owens said. “And so this seems to be just a really smart step in the right direction.”

So far this year there have been over a hundred crashes involving pedestrians, including two deaths.

The motion passed the Climate, Environment, and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday and will go up for a vote of full council on Wednesday.

Public Meeting on Pedestrian Safety: Wednesday, June 8

A public meeting Wednesday night aims to problem-solve pedestrian safety issues in Cincinnati.

Officials from both the city and state departments of transportation will present information, plus police representatives and council members. It will also include the SARA problem-solving method that is a key part of the historic Collaborative Agreement. Ebony Ruhland from the University of Cincinnati has provided several public SARA trainings this year and will participate in the pedestrian safety meeting.

The meeting is Wednesday, June 8, at 6 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall.

Corrected: June 8, 2022 at 7:08 PM EDT
A previous version of this story included a typo in the graphic showing pedestrian crashes. It has been corrected to show there have been 107 pedestrian crashes so far in 2022.
Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.