Tim Bibler is a German Village resident who is not alone in his belief parking signs in the neighborhood are confusing.

As an example he noted on a portion of South Lazelle Street, the sign offers three restrictions: two-hour parking from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., no parking from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. weekdays and no parking on weekends, except for those with an appropriate permit.

"This is one example why the signage needs to be updated," said Bibler, chairman of the German Village Society Parking Committee.

Columbus officials are setting out to do just that.

Columbus City Council on Oct. 8 approved a contract with a consultant to begin planning a parking study of German Village, downtown Columbus, Franklinton, the Brewery District and University District. The study is expected to cost a little less than $300,000.

Robert Ferrin, the city's assistant director of parking services, said the purpose of the study is to cast a fresh eye on the neighborhood's parking situation and figure out if there's a "need to manage these on-street parking areas more efficiently."

Ferrin said there are eight unique restrictions, varying from two-hour parking to permit-parking only during certain hours, while there is unlimited parking in other areas.

"It's literally a patchwork depending on what block you're on," he said.

The study will look at three areas: existing conditions (current restrictions, parking occupancy and how long people are parking); parking demand; and parking-management options, recommendations of which will be made by the consultant, Ferrin said.

In German Village, the consultant will work with a neighborhood task force that includes Bibler, a representative of Lindey's restaurant and Delilah Lopez, executive director of the German Village Society.

Community meetings also will be held.

The study should be done by summer, Ferrin said.

He said he wouldn't rule anything out, including adding meters, additional permits or creating "mobile payment only" zones, where visitors, for a fee, can park on the street for a limited time.

The zones would be set up by the Park Columbus app, where drivers can pay online via credit card.

Bibler remains cautious, saying the community has to make sure the changes are necessary and that "we're not changing the character of German Village."

Graduate students at Ohio State University in 2014 conducted a two-month parking study of the village and found parking problems were generally confined to a small area of the community and only at certain times of the day.

Meanwhile, according to the study, there was plenty of available parking in the neighborhood and underused parking lots in the area.

"It would definitely change the dynamic for German Village to have some kind of paid parking," Bibler said.

"I'm waiting to see the results of the parking study and what that produces.

"What we found with the Ohio State study, the parking situation in German Village was far better than the impression of parking," he said.

There were some areas during certain times where motorists might find a difficulty parking, Bibler said.

However, "according to the Ohio State study, that is not prevalent throughout the village," he said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary