Broad Ripple residents and business owners may finally get what so many of them have wanted — for years if not decades: a parking garage.
As part of the city's next big outsourcing venture, Mayor Greg Ballard has proposed a sweeping upgrade of the Indianapolis parking situation — particularly in the Downtown and Broad Ripple areas, where the demand is highest and parking is often metered.
A group of city officials presented the plan to members of the Broad Ripple Village Association last night, eliciting a mixed reaction.
The plan would effectively outsource management of the city's parking infrastructure to a private company, in what officials hope would be a cost- and revenue-sharing agreement. The winning bidder would shoulder much of the burden for financing and implementing upgrades — like multi-space meters that accept credit cards (and maybe even payment by text) — while keeping some of the profits.
(Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Michael Huber, noted that parking enforcement was already being handled by a private company.)
City-County Counselor Ryan Vaughn, who represents Broad Ripple, said there was a "very good chance" Broad Ripple could get a parking garage out of it, though he made no promises yet. "My support (for the citywide upgrade) will be contingent upon a solution for Broad Ripple," he said.
Ideally, Vaughn said, the deal would go forward without the parking garage as a condition: red tape like site-finding and permitting could tie-up the entire process.
Vaughn said he hoped the funding for a garage could be allocated up-front as part of the winning company's cost contributions — money that could then be spent locally to develop the garage at the neighborhood's own pace and discretion.
What also remains to be seen is whether or not some of the other wishes of Broad Ripple business owners are taken into full consideration.