Monument Circle parking ban irks motorcycle riders

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- Just one night before thousands of motorcycles roll into Indianapolis for the annual “Motorcycles on Meridian” event, some riders who live there say they are getting a raw deal from the city when it comes to parking downtown.

On August 16, the city began enforcing a no parking ordinance on Monument Circle from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. every day, forcing riders out of a popular meeting spot.

“It’s frustrating, it’s upsetting,” said Krystal Lewis, “we don’t cause trouble.”

Lewis is a rider and has now started an online petition that already has nearly 5,000 signatures.

“What we’re hoping for is that it goes back similar to what it was before, we could park until 11 p.m.,” said Lewis.

City-County Councilor Vop Osili, who sponsored the ordinance, said in an email the idea came about after requests to make the circle more pedestrian-friendly during after-work hours.

“It’s ridiculous,” said rider Erika Wyatt, “it just doesn’t make any sense, this is a tourist area.”

None of the restaurants our reporter spoke to on the circle could speak on camera, but most said they’re already seeing less business in the evenings. They also worry what is to come when the temperature plummets and the foot traffic follows.

“This is America, everyone likes convenience,” said rider Bill Wyatt, “if you have to walk a block or two we’re not going to do it.”

He thinks businesses will continue to see a negative impact if people can’t park close by. Others say there are better solutions.

“I don’t even mind paying,” said Erika, “so maybe install parking meters?”

Lewis said she does plan to present her petition to the Mayor and City-County Council.

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