Urbanophile take on the Indianapolis Privatization Plan


Urbanophile take on the Indianapolis Privatization Plan

I mentioned in an earlier blog about the issues that Aaron Renn over at Urbanophile has with the Indianapolis parking plan. He went into detail about his concerns, and now the city has responded. You can follow it all here. Here are some money quotes:

The first part of the response deals with the modernization plan. Let me be clear: I fully support modernizing meters, bringing parking rates in line with the market, and investing in infrastructure. That plan is a good one and Mayor Ballard should be applauded for addressing an area that has been ignored for too long. I believe this enjoys wide support in the community. My issue is with the privatization agreement that is proposed to implement the plan. The report also mentions the water transaction, which I’ll again note that I thought was a good one, even though there were many critics.


The financial structure of the Indianapolis deal is very different Chicago’s. But the contract is very similar. The city says, “Indianapolis and Chicago may be similar in certain provisions of the contract, but that is where the similarity ends.” I believe this understates the degree of similarity between the two contracts, of which large portions – I estimate a majority – are word for word identical.

There is no reason not to use tried and true templates. But the city should not have used the Chicago contract as a model. The Chicago contract is known to be bad for the public.

Renn believes the devil is in the details and goes to great length to expose them. Another interesting read for cities contemplating this move.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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