In a growing destination neighborhood called Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati, city leaders and residents have reached an impasse over parking. According to wlwt.com, the city has poured money into the OTR district and had success in creating a desirable retail and entertainment area. Residents in that neighborhood have benefited from improvements to streets and infrastructure, as well as tax abatements for housing.
Now that the area has become so popular, residents want permitted parking. They say they cannot even find parking in front of their own homes. Mayor John Cranley feels so badly for these people he’s accompanying their complaints with the worlds tiniest violin. And he has vetoed the residential parking permit plan, saying that people throughout the city have funded improvements to the OTR neighborhood, and they should all be allowed to park there. Cranley says:
This investment, combined with over a billion dollars in private investment, primarily by 3CDC, has created an exciting urban neighborhood that is a destination for visitors from across the region and beyond. People drive to OTR to enjoy its amenities. They need parking and are willing to pay for that parking.
The taxpayers made this happen. The taxpayers deserve a return on this investment. These are public streets and the people who paid for them should be able to use them.
It’s one thing to choose to live in a bustling downtown area, but it’s another to have one created around you. It might be that the residents of OTR did not anticipate the drawbacks to making their neighborhood a destination. Maybe they didn’t like the plan in the first place, but now they need to decide if the parking challenges are worth the great ambiance and awesome restaurants. I know I’d choose boredom over traffic and congested parking any day of the week.
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