Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Downtown Indy Needs BlueIndy Parking Spaces Back

Late last year it was announced that the electric car service company, BlueIndy, was ceasing operations.   BlueIndy was one of the many hair-brained ideas that came during the Ballard administration, ideas that almost always involved taxpayers subsidizing private business.

This is how Blue Indy describes itself:
BlueIndy is a revolutionary 100% electric self-service car sharing service in Indianapolis available 24/7. The BlueIndy system will be the largest electric car share service in the U.S. when complete. The service is part of the city’s transit strategy. Stations throughout Indianapolis will offer the membership-based car share service as well as electric vehicle charging infrastructure for public use. 
BlueIndy is a subsidiary of the Bolloré Group which is among the world's 500 largest companies. 
Despite being given free prime parking spaces throughout Indianapolis, BlueIndy could not turn a profit.  Not a surprise.  The spaces were almost always occupied by unrented BlueIndy vehicles taking up valuable parking spaces. 

If you have been downtown lately, you will know it is a mess for those of us still driving vehicles  Scores of traffic lanes have been taken away in favor of dedicated Red Line bus and bike lanes.  Numerous traffic signals have been added providing different options which do little more than confuse everyone.  In some places, parking has been moved off the curb so that parked cars appear to be in traffic lanes. 

The other day I drove from 16th and Capital to Maryland and Capitol, about 2 miles.  It took me 30 minutes.  Downtown traffic was just one big parking lot at rush hour.

But let's return to the parking issue   Finding on-street parking in the middle of the day near the City-County Building is virtually impossible.  You might drive around for 30 minutes looking for a space.  Scores of parking spaces have been removed to create dedicated bus and bike lanes.  And then you have the numerous BlueIndy cars taking up valuable parking spaces.

Not only have Indianapolis residents lost out on valuable parking spots, we are paying for those lost spots.  Yep, when Indianapolis privatized on-street parking several years ago (another hair-brained Ballard idea), we agreed to pay ACS (ParkIndy) for each parking spot taken out of commission as if they were fully-occupied six days a week. 

When BlueIndy moves out of the spots, city officials need to return those spots for the use they were intended - on street parking.


leon dixon said...

The real Republican economic criminality was the parking meter scam. I think a number of
shady lawyers were involved in that but none appeared to represent the pubic interest. I
always thought hare brained was the proper term for Republican efforts to govern. Blue
Indy is as you describe but combined they drive people away from DT merchants. I
avoid DT. I find that we who payed for those streets AND their parking places ought
not have to pay again for their use.

Anonymous said...

I suppose those parking spots will be turned into Tesla parking with the charging station already there???

marksmall2001 said...

If they've said they're giving up, then they should forfeit the spaces - now. This was a losing proposition. Even those who supported it cannot provide a reason to continue to pay out of City funds so that - what? People can have a "farewell" drive in their rarely-used vehicles? Any real conservative would agree with me - and Paul - on this.

Greg Wright said...

I agree. We need the parking spaces back for the merchant's customers.