NOBLESVILLE — Changes could be coming to how people park in downtown Noblesville.
Noblesville police chief Kevin Jowitt presented a proposal for a new parking pilot program at Tuesday's council meeting that would change the city's parking ordinance, which includes adjusting hours of enforcement, location of free and time-restricted spaces and adding new short parking duration spots, according to a news release from the city.
Noblesville's parking ordinance has been in place since 1989 when the city's population was much smaller and before the Hamilton County Judicial Center was constructed downtown.
“When it comes to parking in our historic downtown, there is no magic solution that addresses everyone’s needs because each driver and business has different requirements," Jowitt said. "We tried to create a scenario that works for the largest number of people and I believe this plan achieves that goal by incorporating feedback from the downtown merchants."
Under the new plan, downtown parking will be separated into three locations: paid parking lots, free on-street spaces and a tic-tac-toe or hashtag-shaped area that includes the Downtown Square and one block away in each direction for two consecutive hours of free parking. It would be enforced from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Drivers would not be allowed to move their cars from space-to-space every two hours in the zone.
“When you pull into a space, the clock starts," Jowitt said. "The time expires in two hours whether you are in that area or not. If you exceed two hours in the hashtag area, that will be a violation and you will get a ticket."
Noblesville will also create new 20-minute parking spaces on Logan, Conner and Ninth Streets, which will not count toward a driver's two consecutive hours.
The city said that drivers who need to park for more than two hours should park in lots or streets that have no time restrictions.
The Noblesville City Hall lot will now have free, unrestricted parking all day, and new parking lot signs and banners will be places on street poles. Parking lots and city/county employee lots will be free to the public after 5 p.m. weekdays and on weekends and holidays.
The city will host a public meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at City Hall to discuss the parking proposal. If the changes are approved, they will begin Jan. 1, 2020.
“While we realize change can be scary, the city will use 2020 as a one-year pilot to study the impact of these changes in order to set a permanent strategy after the Levinson parking garage opens,” Noblesville mayor John Ditslear said.