Noblesville parking task force to begin planning

Rick Heflin, owner of RC Metalworks, converses with city council members. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

Rick Heflin, owner of RC Metalworks, converses with city council members. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

By Anna Skinner

On April 15, the Noblesville parking task force held an open, casual forum for residents and business owners to attend to learn more about the options for improving downtown Noblesville parking.

The attendants filled out a survey that covered opinions over Noblesville parking such as the two hour limit restrictions, transferring current parking passes, and adding parking capacity.

“This is really a first step in our public outreach portion of this process. The task force is gathering hard data, but the more important information is the soft data – the residents and businesses and what they see and feel and any suggestions they have for parking,” Bob DuBois, the parking task force moderator and president of the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce, said.

Resident and owner of McMillan Auto Care and Towing, Charlie McMillan, says he believes there should be a bypass to get rid of some of the downtown traffic. “I think two-thirds of the downtown traffic is just trying to get through Noblesville to U.S. 37, and it’s hard to get a parking place because the traffic is backed up. There is too much commercial traffic that comes through downtown,” McMillan said.

Kelli Yates, store manager of Noble Coffee and Tea, says her customers will be happier if the parking issues are fixed. “Our goal is to accommodate our customers. We want to make sure we are welcoming people instead of driving them out with different ordinances and parking tickets,” Yates said. “Many customers say they’ve gotten parking tickets and don’t want to return. People come from out of town for court and antique shops.”

Attendants were able to write down any ideas they had and add them to large pictures of the downtown parking study. By the end of May, the task force will have all the data from the public outreach to consider.

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