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Business owner says Blue Indy hurts his business, takes up all five spots in front of his cafe

Posted at 10:15 PM, Dec 20, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- A business owner in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood is upset because he says Blue Indy is taking up all five parking spots in front of his shop. Now, he's hoping the city will do something about it.

“I’m outside my restaurant here and once again all the parking spots are taken up by Blue Indy.” SoBro Café owner Helger Oomkes said in a video recorded outside his shop after the latest round of weather.

Oomkes said the moment he hit record on that video he was at a breaking point.

“All five of them covered with snow hadn’t moved and nothing had happened and here I’m trying to do a business and no customers can park there.”

And even if the cars had been moved, the parking spots would be off limits - unless you subscribe to their service.

“You can be about 3 blocks, 4 blocks away before you can find a place to park,” said customer Helen Townsend.

And Oomkes said he’s noticed a decline in his business, and he blames Blue Indy.

But company representatives say they actually work to help businesses in the city.

“We do collaborate with a lot of businesses for that purpose and have been very successful and have been able to increase customer traffic in those locations,” said Blue Indy Manager Scott prince.

Prince said many of the Blue Indy locations were selected before the company launched in September of 2015. And just because you see several cars parked doesn’t mean they aren’t being used.

Blue Indy’s Vice President said that people have gone on 41,000 rides in Blue Indy Cars and about 3,400 people are subscribed to the service.

Oomkes said he is trying to urge the city to put more parking spots near his business but he fears that with the Red Line coming, customers in that area will have an even tougher time finding a place to park. 

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