Covington amends parking program in Licking Riverside neighborhood

Kenton Hornbeck
Kenton Hornbeck
Kenton is a reporter for LINK nky. Email him at [email protected]

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The Covington Parking Authority is changing the residential parking program in the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood.

Among some of the most prominent changes are establishing parking meters on Riverside Drive and along Garrard Street near George Rogers Clark Park.

Residents of the area have complained about their street parking spaces being occupied by commuters or Bengals fans on game days. The Covington Parking Authority hopes these changes will address many of the parking issues identified in the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood.

“We view this as a great thing because people want to move, live, play and work in Covington and along with that, parking becomes a greater and greater commodity,” said Patrick Hughes, president of the Historic Licking Riverside Civic Association. “The city should benefit from that commodity.”

In January during the Bengals run to the Super Bowl, WCPO reported the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood was overwhelmed by non-Covington residents searching for street parking. This put a burden on the neighborhood’s residents who primarily utilize street parking to park their vehicles.

“The city has always been open, engaged, listened and attempted a myriad of efforts to properly regulate that parking in part to use by offices, Bengals fans and other Cincinnati fans,” Hughes said.

Some streets in the neighborhood are currently designated permit-only parking, while some are mixed with two-hour parking spaces.

Residents brought the issue to the attention of the commission earlier in the year, citing issues with parking during events. The changes were proposed by the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood residents. They passed the measures at the regularly scheduled commission meeting on Sept. 13.

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“From my understanding, this will be flexible as we figure out the kinks of it,” Commissioner Ron Washington said during the Sept. 13 Commissioners meeting. “I can tell you that my inbox is full from people from Licking Riverside talking about the issues of parking and not being able to park near there homes and close to their homes.”

The initial parking program for the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood was established in 2009. Daytime parking was highlighted as the main problem at that time. Non-residents were parking their vehicles in the neighborhood and going to work at businesses in Covington, or across the river in Cincinnati.

The neighborhood stretches from the Ohio River south to W. 8th Street, and from the Licking River west, splitting the block between Greenup Street and Scott Boulevard.

J. Kyle Snyder, executive director of the Covington Parking Authority, shared a presentation detailing the changes at the Sept. 6 Commission meeting.

Boundaries of the residential parking zone

The RPZ is bound by Court Street and its extension to W. 8th Street to the south, the Ohio River to the north and the Licking River to the east. The map was prepared by the president of the Historic Licking Riverside Civic Association, and corresponds to the city’s parking assets.

A map overviewing the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood’s parking management plan. | Photo via the City of Covington.

Signage and time restrictions

The signage will change to adhere to the map above. The Public Works Department will be tasked with the installation of the updated signage.

Certain areas are designated for residential parking at all times and will feature signage that looks like:

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Example of residential permit parking zone sign. Photo via the City of Covington.

The remaining areas will be resident-only parking, except for four-hour increments between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Those areas will feature signage that looks like:

Example of residential permit parking only after 6 a.m. sign. Photo via the City of Covington.

The signage entering the area will be updated to look like:

Example of entering residential parking zone sign. Photo via the City of Covington.

Parking meters and kiosks

Meters will be installed along Riverside Drive and on Garrard Street near George Rogers Clark Park, which the Covington Parking Authority predicts will help control public access to the area and create parking turnover.

The time on the meters to be installed will be different from the standard time throughout the city. The Parking Authority Executive Director is tasked to work with the ABM Parking Services to set this time limit and hours to best manage the parking.

The base hourly rate will be $1.50.

Additional meters can be installed in other areas as needed in the future, guided by the citywide meter zone designations.

Permits

Parking permits will expire on December 31 of each year. Residents will still need to purchase a new permit from ABM at the end of each year. The application form will now require a license plate number to be listed, which will then be associated with the permanent permit (the sticker).

Permits purchased at other times shall be pro-rated by quarter.

January through March: Full price, $80 per permit

Snyder said the $80 price tag comes from a study conducted by Walker Consultants.

April through June: $60

July through September: $40

October through December: $20 or the next year as full price

A lost or replacement hangtime will cost a resident $80.

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Efficiently enforcing parking

The enforcement of parking regulations in the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood, and throughout the City is a primary goal of the Parking Authority.

The Parking Authority’s official goal is to see habits change as these new parking rules are enforced, and the area will continue to be a priority of enforcement efforts, especially when events are scheduled.

Event parking in garages

The management of the City’s special event parking will be shifted to city-owned parking garages.

The Parking Authority hopes this change will assist in taking the parking load away from the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood area, and utilize the existing parking resources the City already has established.

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