New parking rules coming to Nickel Plate District?

City Attorney Chris Greisl looks on as Brandon Dickinson presents the downtown parking proposals. (Photo provided)

If you have been looking for a parking space along the Central Green area of the Municipal Complex, on Municipal Drive between City Hall and 116th Street, you may have noticed that there are rarely any vacant parking spaces along the street. City officials have found that most of those parking spots are being used by residents of the Depot and Switch apartment buildings.

Brandon Dickinson, Director of Economic Development for the City of Fishers, briefed city council members on a plan to deal with this situation at a work session Monday evening. When the city entered into economic development deals with the Depot & Switch, a certain number of parking spaces in each parking garage, paid for by the city, are set aside as resident parking.

Dickinson told council members that each apartment building is over 90 percent occupied, and the city is finding that “a lot of tenant spaces are empty” because a number of apartment dwellers are finding it more convenient to park on the outside spaces around the municipal complex.

The city is not prepared to install parking meters at this time in the area, Dickinson said, so city staff is proposing a parking ban from 3 to 6 a.m., seven days a week, in the downtown area. The expectation is that residents will not park overnight in the outside spaces, will begin to use their designated parking areas in their respective parking garages and open up more visitor parking.

The fine for parking illegally from 3 to 6 a.m. is proposed to be $20. If enacted, city staffers envision easing into the new rules, with a grace period where officers would issue warning tickets before fining motorists parking illegally.

The parking proposal would include a wide area of the Nickel Plate District, including the Central Green area, the Ellipse and extend east to the area near Four Day Ray.

If enacted, it is projected that the parking restrictions would be implemented in 2018.

The Board of Public Works and Safety would be the body to consider enacting this proposal, unless the city council raises major objections.

In another downtown parking matter, City Attorney Chris Greisl told council members the city has a tentative agreement with the United State Postal Service to construct a surface public parking lot on the land between 116th Street and the local Fishers Post Office. “We’re still trying to work out some details,” said Griesl.