Paying to park in Waterfront Park could be just months away - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Paying to park in Waterfront Park could be just months away

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Since word began to spread last year, reaction about paying to park at Waterfront Park has been anything but neutral.

"It's been free for so long, I wouldn't want to start paying now," Julia Gilroy said.

"I think it should stay free," added Shelbi Frazier.

David Karem with the Waterfront Development Corporation said his organization has to do something after Gov. Matt Bevin vetoed a budget appropriation, and he said the potential parking fees have worked elsewhere. 

"Places like Indianapolis, St. Louis ... all the lots near waterfronts were paid parking," he said.

Karem thinks they could make up the difference in Louisville too, but it's not lost on him that this could be an unpopular decision. He wants everyone to know his organization has looked into other options.

One was charging for parking during events only. His team concluded it wouldn't work. 

"There's multiple events on the same day sometimes," Karem said. "There's also the situation of what if you're in the park in the morning, and the event doesn't start until the evening."

The latest plan on the table and up for a vote in two weeks is charging all drivers from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday through Sunday. Anywhere from $3 to $5 for three hours is up for consideration.

"If you're on a meter, you're paying about the same thing we're looking at," Karem said.

Mondays and Tuesdays would be free, but that doesn't soften the potential blow for park-goers.

"I definitely think I wouldn't come here as often," Gilroy said.

But, losing some of them some of the time might be a step Waterfront Development has to take.

Waterfront Development's board will make a decision on paid parking on Aug. 23.

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