The Columbia City is launching a parking permit program today, hoping to alleviate a parking shortage in the North Village area.
The North Village Residential Parking By Permit Only (RPPO) program is a six month pilot project that will limit parking permits to those who own or rent homes in the area. The program is an attempt to fix parking complaints of North Village residents, which began last August with the arrival of the new student apartment complex, Brookside on College.
“There were simply too many vehicles for the capacity of the streets,” the Columbia Public Works Spokesman Steven Sapp said. “With input from residents, we launched the plan.”
The residents held public meetings to address traffic and parking issues since last October. They are now hoping that the city’s new program will prevent students from clogging parking spaces in the North Village area. Residents say that they cannot blame it all on students, although knowing that it was the arrival of student apartment building that started everything.
“This is not just a matter of the developer’s plans. It was a matter of the city’s planning,” the neighborhood spokesperson Dan Cullimore said. “The issue is not just that the students brought automobiles. We as a community failed to plan and exercise due diligence.”
The city expects that the Brookside apartment’s parking garage, which is under construction, will absorb additional cars in the future. The city and the residents agree that they will need time to evaluate the pilot program’s success.
“We’ll look at this in about six months and determine whether or not it’s being effective,” Sapp said.
The RPPO program applies to areas along St. Joseph Street, St. James Street, Hubbell Drive and Ash Street.