INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis City-County Council is considering taking steps to help residents who may not have a place to park on their own property.
If drivers aren’t careful, they could owe as much as $100 if enforcement of residential parking permits changes.
You may have seen the signs around Indianapolis designating reserved spots for people who do not have access to park behind their homes in a space or garage.
But City-County Councilor Jeff Miller said those permit spots are often difficult for police to enforce.
“A proactive officer called and said, ‘I’m just being honest; I don’t think I can enforce this. Can you help?'” said Miller.
Miller did some quick digging and said he found out there was no law on the books about residential permit parking, only an executive order from 16 years ago. That means the city does not have any established rules on fines or enforcement.
“In defense of IMPD, when it’s not a law, it’s hard for IMPD to know how much do they charge,” said he said. “Is this a ticket that’s going to stand?”
Fountain Square resident Richard Campi said he thinks more enforcement could happen for residential permit parking on his block.
Campi said when a church near his home hosts big events, the residents’ reserved parking is filled up.
“They’ll have to go maybe two or more blocks away because the church will park everywhere,” said Campi.
Residents like Campi end up needing to cross a busy interstate bridge to park and then walk home. The problem is not unique to Fountain Square.
Miller said a lot of urban areas growing in Indianapolis face similar problems: homeowners who do not have parking.
He said the lack of reserved spots could be a safety issue but also create an inconvenience.
So Miller created an ordinance that could become law next Monday, when the full City-County Council puts it to a vote. The ordinance would establish a residential permit parking program that could make it easier for IMPD to enforce existing spots and would include a proposed $100 fine for illegal parking.
Miller said the ordinance could help more people know about and take advantage of the residential permits, especially in developing urban areas around the city.