Covington Estimates It Will Make $516,113 on Parking This Budget Cycle

While Cincinnati leaders would like to see their parking system generate more in revenue than it costs to operate and maintain it, that is not the reality. It is, however, the reality across the river in Covington.

A review of Covington’s recently approved 2014-2015 budget estimates the parking system will bring in approximately $1.6 million in revenue, while costing only $1.1 million for operations, maintenance and upgrades.

One of the largest chunks of Covington’s annual parking revenue, however, comes from lease payments which total about $491,000 – or nearly one-third of the city’s annual parking revenues.

Had Cincinnati followed through with its parking lease agreement, it too would have realized these benefits by offloading expenses and locking in fixed lease payments. Under Cincinnati’s parking lease, the city would have received anywhere from $3-4 million in annual payments from the concessionaire.

In order just to break even, the City of Cincinnati has and continues to defer needed maintenance and upgrades, while also depleting its parking fund.

Covington will also benefit from increased parking rates, which will net the city an additional $68,500 in the first year. Those changes include a 10-cent per hour increase for on-street parking meters, and a $2 per day increase at the RiverCenter Parking Garage.

In addition to on-street parking meters throughout downtown, Covington has 818 parking spaces in 16 surface lots and another 1,574 spaces in three different parking garages.

  • Jake Mecklenborg

    Watch for Cranley/Black to renegotiate the parking situation once again, so that Cranley/Black can channel the proceeds to their handlers and stooges.

  • SCADgrad.

    Napoleon will make up a new lease and say his was a better plan. If he thinks hes going to change to a strong mayor system he better think twice.

  • Matt Jacob

    I got burned two nights ago in Newport for trying to get around paying by parking south in a residential area. Got me in under an hour. NKY has their parking enforcement down.

    • EDG

      But you should be able to park even in a residential permit area for an hour or two as a visitor.

  • Jerome6957

    Parking is a cash cow in any well managed city. It’s really simple:
    1. Enforce the parking regulations you have. Cincinnati fails miserably at ticketing meter violations. They have what, five officers for the entire city? Parking enforcement is seen as an EXPENSE, rather than a revenue stream. Enforcement is so bad in my neighborhood everyone just collectively ignores the meters. When ‘rush hour’ limitations are in effect, and somebody hasn’t moved, the police knock on all the doors to see who’s car it is instead of issuing a ticket and towing the car away.
    2. Clean the streets weekly. In San Francisco, for example, the parking officers move just ahead of the street cleaning trucks writing tickets along the way. Woe to the motorist who ignored the signs. Added benefit: clean streets!
    3. Third strike is a tow. You didn’t pay that first ticket? The next one is a yellow boot. Didn’t pay for the boot? Goodbye car!

    • Parking should be (and would have been) a cash cow in Cincinnati, except city leadership felt an increase of 25¢ every three years would hurt businesses. Let’s also ignore the fact that Findlay Market’s business has picked up significant after they started charging for parking in their lots.

      Streets are cleaned weekly in the CBD and OTR, but I believe most side streets are only cleaned twice a year in other neighborhoods.

    • Jerome6957

      The cost of parking isn’t the issue, it is the enforcement. Tickets bring in a lot more revenue than meters ever will. So does towing and auto auctions for unpaid tickets.

    • Agreed, but the new mayor and city council threw out the entire parking modernization plan because the general public was scared of a modest increase in the parking rates. Included in that modernization plan would have been better enforcement of parking meters.

    • EDG

      That’s why you don’t need to lease the whole system, just privatize enforcement as a first step.

    • ArcticSix

      The propaganda about that deal was incredible. I was handed a petition to sign by multiple business owners in the Gaslight Clifton area that opposed the deal, and every single one of them believed that the plan gave limitless ability to raise parking immediately. Every single one told me that my information was wrong and that it was definitely going to skyrocket parking and all meters in every neighborhood would go until 9PM or later. They basically sold it as the coming apocalypse that would drive them all to the suburbs.

      A little misinformation goes a long way, especially when people are already convinced that parking in Cincinnati is already prohibitively expensive, which was something else I heard repeated during that time period. I must admit that in my experience Cincinnati’s parking is quite inexpensive, but maybe I have a skewed reference point since I used to live in Asheville, NC, where metered parking was $1.25 an hour and I spent last summer in Boston, MA.

    • EDG

      The problem I have is that they want to charge more and enforcement is still a crap shoot. Don’t ask me to pay for a meter untill 9pm if enforcement ends at 5pm. The system will not be fixed until enforcement is privatized.

  • EDG

    Covington’s system performs better even with few enforcement hours (ends 5pm weekdays, free Saturdays), $25/year residential permit, enforcement contracted to ABM. Just another example of how progressive Cincinnati isn’t because of conservative scare tactics and assumptions.