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Keep the change: Short North launching mobile pay parking

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You’ll be able to keep your change in your cupholder and your card in your wallet when you park in the Short North starting next month.

The Park Columbus app will launch on January 22 as part of the Short North parking plan.

“As a smart city, Columbus is always looking for innovative ways to alleviate traffic congestion and improve the parking experience,” Robert Ferrin, assistant director for parking services with the City of Columbus, said in a release. “This new ParkColumbus app gives people an easy way to pay so they can skip the meter and instead pay with their phone.”

Some streets in the Short North will transition to mobile payment-only streets and be marked with a zone sticker.

City staff are currently installing new parking regulatory signage throughout the Short North. The new signage is covered up with bags that has the old signage printed on it to maintain existing parking restrictions as applicable to the street.

To pay for parking with the app, you will follow these steps:

  • enter the zone number posted on the sticker
  • choose the length of time
  • select the “start parking” button

The app will send alerts when the meter is about to expire.

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The ParkColumbus app will also offer guest passes which will provide special 24-hour parking rates for visitors in the Short North and Children’s Hospital areas.

Here is a breakdown of the Short North parking plan according to The Dispatch:

  • Streets will be divided into five zones where permit holders could park anywhere at any time.
  • Parking rates will be $2 an hour between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., and $3 an hour until 10 p.m. in three zones that border North High Street.
  • Rates will cost $1 an hour from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and $2 an hour until 10 p.m. in the other two zones.
  • A residential or business permit will be required to park on those streets after 10 p.m.a
  • Permits will cost $25 a year, with a maximum of two permits per residential household built before 2009.
  • Guests can park in two ways: Residents can buy $25 guest permits and add their license plates to the permit, or guests could buy 24-hour passes for $6.
  • Homes built after 2009 will not be eligible for permits due to development patterns and the availability of parking at that time.
  • Businesses can purchase up to 10 permits that get more expensive as businesses buy more of them.

The City of Columbus plans to implement mobile payment to all 4,500 parking meters at the end of next year.

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Orange Barrel Hell: 5 road projects to avoid at all costs

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The ubiquitous orange construction barrel: a sign of central Ohio’s continual growth, and the stuff of traffic nightmares.

Road construction in central Ohio is a headache that may be impossible to avoid, but at least you can try. Here are five ongoing road projects to watch out for.

Watkins road at 33 – Closed indefinitely
A truck hit the 33 overpass at Watkins Rd on Thursday, leading to a closure of Watkins that could last for months, according to ODOT officials.

I-70 between I-270 and Wilson Rd – southbound Wilson closed for the weekend
I-270 to I-70 eastbound on the west side, as well as Southbound Wilson Road over I-70, will be closed beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday. The closure will last through the weekend. All lanes will reopen at 5:00 AM Monday.

I-71 South Side ‘Mega Fix’ Between Grove City and Columbus
The South Side construction project on Interstate 71 between Columbus and Grove City will add extra lanes, new bridges, and exit ramps throughout five miles of highway. The project will be under construction for at least three years, with completion targeted for the Fall of 2020.

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I-670 / I-270 Smart Lane
Construction on the Ohio’s first SmartLane has begun. The project spans seven miles miles of I-670 between downtown and John Glenn International Airport.

The new lane, called a SmartLane, will utilize state-of-the-art digital overhead signs installed every three-quarters of a mile to let motorists know if the lane is open to traffic. SmartLanes are intended to ease traffic congestion during peak rush hours.

3rd Avenue Widening near Railroad between Edgehill Road and Columbus Fire Station #25
Eastbound 3rd Avenue is detoured at Northwest Boulevard, except for local business traffic. This detour is expected to be in place for the rest of the year for a widening, reconstruction, and pedestrian path project.

What ongoing road project grinds your gears in your daily commute? Let us know in the comments.

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Video: Local church apologizes after kids spit on pastor

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Please consider this story your weekly reminder not to spit on people—even if they’re literally asking for it.

The Impact City Church in Pataskala has issued an apology over an Easter lesson gone wrong, in which youth minister Jaddeus Dempsey encouraged kids to slap him and spit on him. One student, at Dempsey’s direction, even cut the pastor’s bare back with a knife. The exercise was intended to teach students about Christ’s crucifixion.

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In a statement posted to Facebook, the church assured the public that there is a formal review and investigation of the incident under way from their Board of Directors:

While Dempsey’s future at the church is uncertain, perhaps this bizarre incident did manage to convey a simple lesson—don’t spit on people!

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There’s still hope for bigger, better Whitehall Kroger

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Two years has gone by since Kroger purchased a former Big Bear grocery store at the Town and Country Shopping Center in Whitehall, but the massive marketplace is still promising a bigger, better store for the community.

The place may just be a vacant lot right now, but according to This Week News, the 8.2-acre site at 3680 E. Broad St could become a shopping center with a drive-through pharmacy, fuel center, expanded kosher offerings, ClickLists, and other amenities.

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But ultimately, the project timeline is still being worked out.

Via a 15-year, 53% tax-increment-financing agreement Whitehall City Council approved in 2016, Kroger’s deadline to begin construction was pushed back from the end of 2018 to the end of 2021.

Kroger purchased the property for $4.2 million and is expected to shell out another $24 million to build the new store.


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