COLUMBUS (WCMH) – After the first day of enforcing new parking restrictions in the Short North, many woke up to find the parking signs vandalized.
More than 30 of the signs were covered in red and black paint. As the mess is cleaned up, the city says it is working with police to find out who is responsible.
No matter the condition of the signs, it doesn’t change the parking plan.
Blake Blasberg said he walked outside to find a warning placed on his windshield.
“I park here every day and I just got a notice saying I got to pay for parking,” said Blasberg. “Permit parking zone, 3-hour parking, you gotta pay by phone.”
Blasberg says he’s working construction in the area for the next six months. He parks in the area for work, but is now going to have to park more than a mile away and walk.
He’s not the only one who found a notice on his windshield.
“We’ve issued approximately 150 warning tickets since we started enforcement yesterday. That includes all day yesterday, including also this morning,” says Robert Ferrin, Assistant Director of Parking Services for the city of Columbus.
The warning tickets don’t result in a fine or a permanent record. The city says they will continue issuing warnings for the next few weeks.
“Once we’ve got a comfortable level of folks who have permits, then we’ll start issuing tickets. Tickets range from 35 to 50 dollars for those fines,” says Ferrin.
Permits to park in the area are $25 per year. Each household can get up to two along with a guest pass. Businesses can also buy up to 10 passes for $100.
“Our enforcement is active now from 7:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Saturday in the Short North,” said Ferrin.
So far, more than 3,000 permits have been issued. If you don’t plan to buy a permit, the city recommends using public transportation or parking garages.
“There are a lot of folks that have wanted a permit program, that have wanted to see modifications for years, streets that have been parked up full day in and day out. This plan is going to help that. This plan is going to create some access. You’re going to see streets that now have parking availability that have never had that before, because we put in this both the restrictions, the payment, as well as the parking program,” said Ferrin.