Parking rate increase proposal gets mixed reaction from residents

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Parking in Indianapolis could soon end up costing you more. The City is exploring a proposal that would extend paid parking hours around Indianapolis, and start charging for parking on Sundays.

The goal of this is to bring in more money that would be used to fight homelessness downtown.

“I love Mass Avenue, I come here all the time,” said Kylie Walker, a downtown resident. Despite that, she’s not a fan of the city’s new proposal.

“I think it stinks because a lot of times we like to come on Sundays because we know it’s free parking and we don’t have to worry about it,” said Walker.

And she’s not alone.

“I think it’s nice to have open parking and invite more people down to Mass Ave on Sundays without having to pay,” said downtown resident Tim Birky.

Under the proposal introduced by the City-County Council Monday night, parking hours would be extended until 11 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. You’d also have to pay to park on Sundays between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“I’m not really in favor of it, especially the Sunday parking,” said Birky.

The new hours would also impact Broad Ripple.

The city says the change would bring in more than a million dollars, which would be used to fight homelessness and panhandling. It’s part of an initiative announced by Mayor Joe Hogsett (D) in November.

“If the money goes somewhere good, I mean make sure the money goes to that place,” said Chris Benedyk, owner of Massachusetts Avenue eatery Love Handle.

But some wonder if more paid parking, especially on Sundays, might keep shoppers and diners away.

“I can see that it might make a difference,” said Christine Jackson, who works at Global Gifts downtown, “people say ‘oh well, I don’t think so, not today’.”

City leaders though, say this is still just a proposal.

“I think we will see some extended hours,” said City-Council member Zach Adamson (D), “I’m not sure everyone’s comfortable with Sunday either, so I think that I think it’s very possible there will be revisions yet through the committee process.”

We reached out to Downtown Indy, Inc. for comment, but didn’t get a response. The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce said it would hold off on commenting at this time.

As for the proposal itself, it will be heard next by the city’s Public Works Committee.