Columbus marks parking spaces to help create efficiency on S. Third St.

GARY SEMAN JR.
gseman@thisweeknews.com
This graphic explains how people should be parking under the pilot program the city has established for South third Street in German Village.

The city of Columbus is looking to maximize the number of parking spaces along South Third Street.

The Columbus Division of Parking Services started the 60-day pilot program Aug. 2 on both sides of South Third, between Columbus and Kossuth streets and Willow and Sycamore streets.

The division has used special "T" marks to maximize parking in the mixed-use pilot blocks.

Currently, motorists often leave greater distance than necessary when they park, and that reduces the number of available parking spaces, said Robert Ferrin, division director.

Ferrin said the German Village Society approached the city about the project to delineate proper spacing for more efficient parking on South Third Street.

"We'll be counting cars and making sure people are parking properly and seeing if we can get more parking," Ferrin said.

And it will come with an enforcement measure. Signs are posted in the designated areas. For the first two weeks, violators will be issued a warning. After that, it's a $47 fine.

"I don't anticipate we're going to do a lot of real tickets," Ferrin said. "The open warning will be enough to educate folks and gain compliance."

The city uses different parking demarcations across Columbus; for example, an entire spot is sometimes edged in white, Ferrin said.

The division usually doesn't mark on nonpaved streets -- South Third Street is brick -- because of maintenance issues associated with keeping the markings fresh and identifiable, Ferrin said.

After the 60-day trial run, the division will go back to the German Village Society for direction as to whether to continue or discontinue the program or add new areas, he said.

"I think a lot of it is going to depend on how many more parking spaces are going to be available," he said. "Are people parking more efficiently?"

Ferrin said the pilot is not a preliminary toward the installation of parking meters in the area.

Tim Bibler, chairman of the German Village Society's parking committee, said he generally supports a standardized parking method and is eager to how the pilot works.

"There are limited things you can do to add efficiency to parking, and we thought this was an inexpensive way to add efficiency to South Third Street," Bibler said.

Residents are encouraged to provide input during the pilot period to the German Village Society or Division of Parking Services by emailing parkingservices@columbus.gov.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary