A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

As parking problems on residential streets increase, Newport city commission looks for solutions

By Don Owen
NKyTribune reporter

For many residents in Newport, finding a parking spot on their own street has become a major issue.

The problem? A number of improperly registered vehicles — many of those with out-of-state license plates — are taking up an inordinate amount of parking spaces on residential streets.

At Monday night’s Newport city commission caucus meeting, potential options were discussed to remedy the parking situation.

Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso

“It’s been going on for years,” said Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso. “Since the city stickers were eliminated back in the 1990s, the number of out-of-county or out-of-state vehicles parking on the streets has doubled. It creates a lot of problems. It eats up a lot of parking spaces in this city. There are times when people own seven or eight cars, all of them registered outside the city, and they are parked on residential streets.

“It comes down to fairness. Is that fair to the people who live on that street? They’re paying taxes. If the vehicle is registered outside Kentucky, chances are you’re not paying taxes and you might not have insurance. Then you have the wear and tear on city streets. People who are paying taxes, it goes to the repair of those streets. Those who aren’t paying the taxes with improperly registered vehicles are off the radar using the streets and not contributing to the repairs. This problem is getting worse, and being right across the river from Cincinnati hasn’t helped the issue.”

Newport city manager Thomas Fromme discussed three potential options to combat the parking issues and said the adoption of city stickers would be a viable solution.

“Many of the issues are people who abide by the law don’t like it that others are not abiding by the law,” Fromme said. “You have situations in which people have multiple cars and they have no regard for the others on the street. They may have five, six, seven cars parked on one block. We just found someone in the city that had a number of vehicles, more than five and all out-of-state plates. Someone had made a complaint, and our police department investigated it and found they belonged to one person. All parked on one block in our city.”

Fromme pointed out during the meeting that years ago Newport required city stickers, but the program was eliminated in the late 1990s. “A lot of things have changed since then because of technology,” he said. “In those days, everything had to be done manually, from enforcement to logging in the information. It was very difficult and time-consuming, especially in snow or rain. Now, with electronic readers and scanners, technology could enhance the program’s enforcement.”

Additionally, Fromme said the implementation of the city sticker program could produce a revenue stream to help pay for an enforcement worker. He also pointed out the topic needs to be discussed publicly at the next board meeting on March 26 before any decisions can be made.

The Newport Skywheel will stand more than 230-feet tall with 30 climate-controlled gondolas. It will be built north of the Newport Aquarium and Mitchell’s Fish Market in the Newport Festival Park area.

“This is a complex problem, and nothing will solve all the parking issues,” Fromme said, “but I believe adopting city stickers would be a positive step in eliminating many of the problems we’re facing in Newport with the improperly registered vehicles parked on the streets.”

Commissioner Tom Guidugli agreed that action is needed. “We get a number of complaints about non-residents taking up multiple parking sports on residential streets,” he said. “We need to develop a plan and solve this problem.”

In another matter, Fromme updated the board on the Newport SkyWheel project near Newport on the Levee. It will be located north of the Newport Aquarium and Mitchell’s Fish Market in the Newport Festival Park area.

Fromme said the Newport SkyWheel will stand more than 230-feet tall with 30 climate-controlled gondolas. It will be mounted on a pier out toward the Ohio River.

“It will be like a huge ferris wheel,” he said. “You would have a great view of downtown Cincinnati.”

Fromme said construction could begin this calendar year.

“That’s the plan, try to get it moving.”

The board of commissioners will convene again in a regular meeting on March 26 at 7 p.m.

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One Comment

  1. Nicole says:

    Another problem for parking on smaller city side streets are residents who have handicap spots that are not needed. The 300 block of thornton street alone has 6-7 spots…and only 1 if those spots are needed for an ailing man. 1resident had a spot for his ill wife who passed away some time ago sadly however he still has the spot. Another has a spot but is never even in it because of her traveling. I myself have COPD and walking far leaves me breathless however i do not have a special spot because i do not feel im in need of such just yet. It is sad these people have no regard for their neighbors who may need to park a little closer to home than all the way around the block. These spots need to be investigated to see if they are truly needed. Thank you…

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