For our June 2015 issue, we explore (and try to explain) the ins and outs of the Queen City.
George Costanza once compared parking to going to a prostitute: “Why should I pay, when if I apply myself, maybe I could get it for free?” Free downtown parking is rare, but there are affordable alternatives—if you know where to look.
Bargain Hunting: The best bang for your buck, and when to take advantage.
Lot at Third & Central: $3 weekdays before 5 p.m.; $1 weekdays after 5 p.m. and weekends
Roof of Seventh Street Garage, (Seventh & Sycamore): $2 weekdays after 4 p.m. and weekends (roof only)
Gramercy Garage (Seventh & Elm): $2 weekdays after 5 p.m. and Sat–Sun if in after 8:30 a.m. and out before 8:30 a.m. the next day.
Horseshoe Casino Self-Park (access via Reading Road & Gilbert Avenue): Free, 24/7
Park Here, Not There
Here: Town Center Garage (1251 Central Parkway); daily rate is $2, every day.
There: Washington Park Garage; daily rates are $1/hr with an $8 daily max.
Best For: OTR
Here: LAZ Garage (Sixth & Elm); $10 daily max
There: Whex Garage (Elm, between Fourth & Fifth); $15 daily max
Best For: weekdays in the Central Business District
Here: Garfield Garage (Ninth, between Race & Vine); $6 daily max, $2 weekdays after 5 p.m. and weekends
There: Central Parking System (Seventh & Vine); $12 daily max, $6 weekdays after 4 p.m. and weekends
Best For: weekdays in the Central Business District, evenings/weekends in Fountain Square or OTR
The city is doing its best to make you hate on-street parking. In January, meter hours were extended to 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon–Sat and 2 p.m.–9 p.m. on Sundays. In April, per-hour meter rates were hiked as well, ranging from $2.25/hr on the east side of the Central Business District to $0.75/hr north of Central Parkway and west of Vine Street (see map insert). The message is clear: If you want cheaper parking, go west.