Residents of German Village and other south Columbus neighborhoods expect parking to get worse.

But just how to solve the issue will remain the subject of robust discussion and debate over the next several months.

During a May 1 public meeting, Columbus representatives and a consultant presented the parking status of downtown Columbus, Franklinton, the University District and south Columbus neighborhoods.

Brett Wood of consulting firm Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., which led the study, said it is the desire of planners and city leaders to get residents and visitors to reorient their thinking about transportation and incorporate walking, biking and other forms of transit with vehicular access.

"We're growing," Wood said. "Our city is growing. Our region is growing."

More than 100 residents who attended the meeting in the German Village Meeting Haus sat in clusters and were asked to rate their parking ideas based on a three-tiered system, three being the least-favored of the possibilities.

"That's the whole point of this process, hearing from the community and giving residents the option," said Robert Ferrin, assistant director of parking services for the city. "They're going to choose what options are going to work and not work in their neighborhood."

Wood said there are multiple options for each neighborhood.

The city should have some semblance of an implementation plan this fall, he said.

Inevitably, the idea of metered parking was broache, but sounded unpopular based on the audience's reaction. German Village has no parking meters.

Ferrin suggested residents have a strong voice in the matter "if that's the feedback and the right strategy."

Ferrin, however, wouldn't rule out parking meters.

Some local residents were quick to share their opinions at the meeting.

"New development has to accommodate all the parking it's bringing," said Michael O'Kane of the Brewery District.

Brenda Gischel, president of the Schumacher Place Civic Association, expressed similar sentiments.

"The city needs to stop granting variances for the businesses," Gischel said. "We need more creative solutions."

"The reality, at this point in time, (in) the south Village there is plenty of on-street parking," Carl Faller said.

Yet he expects that to change in the near future and said he would like Nationwide Children's Hospital to provide more public access in its garages along East Livingston Avenue.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary