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Ready or not, new Short North parking rules take effect today

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The new Short North parking plan launched today, but luckily you’re being granted a grace period if you’re still not clear on all the changes.

The Dispatch reports Columbus parking-enforcement officers will be issuing warning tickets for the next week weeks for violations of new parking regulations.

The Dispatch adds that once “enough” residents and businesses have permits, officers will begin shelling out fines. No word on the numeric value of “enough.”

The biggest change under the new plan is that all drivers are required to either buy a permit or pay for hourly parking on non-meter streets in the Short North, Victorian, and Italian Villages.

The neighborhoods are divided into five permit areas.

Visitors who don’t have a permit will have to pay $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. Visitors will pay $1 an hour from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and $2 an hour until 10 p.m. in the other two zones.

Between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., only permit holders can park in those areas.

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Guests can also buy 24-hour passes for $6.

Drivers who don’t have a permit are required to pay for meter parking with the new ParkColumbus smartphone app.

Hourly parking in permit areas also requires vehicles to move every three hours, which the city will police with license plate readers.

A residential permit costs $25 a year, and each household can get two permits.

Residents who live in homes built in 2009 or later may be ineligible for a permit because the builder was expected to have accounted for parking as part of the construction, reports The Dispatch.

The Columbus assistant director for parking services told The Dispatch only 16 percent of the 6,700 households that are eligible for residential permits have acquired one so far.

Businesses can buy up to 10 permits, which range in price from $100 to $700.

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

Mike Thomas

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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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