New Indianapolis parking meter.
(Photo provided by the City of Indianapolis.)

City Pays $450,000 to Parking Meter Operator After Mass Ave, Broad Ripple Closed During Pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH ) — According to the contract city officials signed with Park Indy LLC 10 years ago, if a meter is taken out of service, the provider of Indianapolis’ metered parking system charges the city a flat rate to make up for lost revenue.

Indianapolis officials have been given the parking ticket to end all parking tickets after closing Massachusetts and Broad Ripple avenues from Memorial Day to Labor Day to allow restaurants to have outdoor dining during the coronavirus pandemic: an estimated $450,000.

Jamahl Crouch, an Indianapolis resident, reacted. “There should be some other way to resolve this situation.”

The city blocked hundreds of parking spots to allow restaurants and other businesses to operate outdoors.

Dan Parker, director of the Department of Public Works, said, “Park Indy has been a great partner in terms of allowing us to close the streets at a severely discounted rate to keep the roads closed since May.”

The discounted rate of close to $450,000 is about one-third of the normal fee, which means Park Indy estimated the value of those parking spots at close to $1.5 million.

Parker said, “We have been able to keep the streets shut, restaurants have been able to expand and, you know, the residents of Indianapolis have been able to use the space in a socially distance, public safety environment.”

Park Indy declined a request for an interview.

Park Indy pays the city a percentage of what it collects from meters and fines. Public Works has been reimbursed, in part, with federal CARES Act money for the lost parking fees, which have already been paid to Park Indy.

“They did not have to do what they did, but they understood the gravity of the situation and what we were dealing with pandemic and needing to close the roads obviously they was not a popular decision at the outset,” Parker said.

The city plans to keep part of Massachusetts Avenue closed until Nov 30, and the city will have to pay more for the meters taken out of service.

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