City Council Preview Aug. 7, 2019: Parking commission, street parking

Separate parking issues on Dunn Street and 17th Street together make up one of the two items on Wednesday’s city council agenda. The second agenda item is also related to parking—the eligibility requirements for service on the parking commission are proposed to be loosened.

Both agenda items are ordinance revisions up for their second and final readings. The first reading of both pieces of  legislation was given at the July 31 meeting.

New for the second reading, not a part of the first reading, is the amendment about parking for residents who live on 17th Street. What’s proposed is to add the south side of 17th Street to the newly established neighborhood parking permit Zone 6, in the Garden Hill neighborhood, west of the Indiana University football stadium.

The change will allow residents of single-family household detached dwellings on the south side of 17th Street to obtain a permit and park a vehicle on the street. [Edit: Permits allow someone to park on a street in the neighborhood, but only where it’s otherwise allowed, which does not include 17th Street.]

The creation of Zone 6 was one of several revisions to the city’s parking ordinance enacted by Bloomington’s city council at its Sept. 19 meeting last year, on a unanimous vote.

The proposal for Dunn Street is to eliminate some current no-parking restrictions on some blocks of Dunn Street. The blocks of Dunn between 6th and 10th would no longer have “no-parking signs.” The idea is to increase parking supply, and slow down traffic.

Cropped No Parking Dunn IMG_9764
Looking south on Dunn Street where one of the “no parking signs” would be removed, if a proposed change to the parking ordinance is approved. (Dave Askins/Beacon)

In his memo attached to the first reading material, councilmember Steve Volan wrote: “Dunn Street between Tenth and Seventh Streets is relatively wide and can be a speedway. It has room to add to the neighborhood parking supply, which serves the University Village Overlay as well as the residences within the zones. Adding parking here would increase the supply while slowing down speeding car traffic.”

Also up for a second, and final reading, is a proposed loosening of the restrictions on membership requirements for the nine-member parking commission. It’s been difficult to maintain a full complement of members since the commission’s formation in 2016. Councilmember Steve Volan’s memo accompanying the proposal at first reading says, “The Commission has in its first two and a half years never had nine members present; it currently has three vacancies.” The scheduled commission meeting on July 25 was cancelled due to a lack of quorum.

Establishing the commission in 2016 required an override of Mayor Hamilton’s veto, which was done on a 9–0 vote.

The new criteria would eliminate the requirements that some members have an interest in an organization located in a downtown metered zone or live in a neighborhood parking permit zone. The new criteria would read as follows:

(1) One member appointed by the mayor and one member appointed by the common council shall be a merchant owning and operating a business located at an address within the city limits.
(2) One member appointed by the mayor shall be a board member or an employee of a non profit organization which operates at property that is owned or leased by the non profit organization and located within the city limits.
(3) Four members, two appointed by the mayor and two appointed by the council, shall be residents living within the city limits.
(4) One member appointed by the common council shall be from among its membership and
(5) One member appointed by the mayor shall be from within the transportation and traffic services division of the planning and transportation department.

[Meeting agendas and information packets are available for download on Bloomington’s website. They’re live streamed on CATS.]