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Why are so many parking meters blocked off downtown? Is the city losing money because of them?

The bagged meters seem to be all over the place. Some are blue, some of them are red, and they're taking up parking spots in downtown Louisville.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — When it comes to driving downtown, #thestruggleisreal. Between the traffic and construction, trying to find a parking spot can sometimes be the WORST. So, why does it look like the city is making it even harder to park downtown?

This WHAS Up question comes from Mark Hebert:

“I was driving through downtown Louisville, and I noticed a lot of the parking meters had bags on them, making those spaces unavailable,” he said. “What’s up with that?”

If you’ve tried to park downtown this summer, you know he’s totally right. The bagged meters are all over the place. Some of them are blue, some of them are red, but they all signal the same thing: a company in the middle of construction has filed an application with the city to put that parking space out of bounds for the length of their project.

Credit: WHAS

Here are the blocks that are impacted this summer. The red dots are ones that are currently blocked off, and the blue dots show where the projects have been earlier this summer:

This summer does have a lot of construction projects going on, and we do have more meters bagged this month compared to July of last year; but, only by a little. This July, we counted 124 meters bagged in the documents we obtained. In documents from last July, we counted 109.

Here was my follow up question to all of this: if we have 124 meters out of commission downtown, how much money is the metro government losing out on from decrease in parking? I reached out to PARC to find out, and as it turns out they’re not losing much at all. Like I mentioned above, meters are bagged when construction companies file applications with the metro; and, if/when they are approved, the company then has to pay for that meter, essentially as if they were going to be parking there for the entire length of the project. They do qualify for some discounts (usually 25% off), but it still adds up. Documents we obtained showed around $46,000 coming for projects that either started or continued into July 2019.

If you want to see how the meters and money stack up around downtown—AND find out when your favorite spot is going to open back up again—you can skim through these documents from PARC.



Want to know "WHAS up" with something? Rob Harris is your guy. He's talking to some of the smartest people in our community to find out more about science, history, urban legends, local quirks, and more.

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