CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati city officials say they don't want anyone to receive a ticket or have their vehicle towed when parking Downtown or in Over-the-Rhine.
That is why they are making extra efforts to inform the public of existing, and some new, traffic laws taking effect Friday.
This is important because before opening for passenger service each of the five Cincinnati Streetcar vehicles must log 500 kilometers on the tracks.
This started Tuesday afternoon with the beginning of the "burn-in," which is when the vehicles will be seen traveling the tracks with much greater frequency. This is in addition to streetcar employee and driver training which will occur after the burn-in period.
The streetcar cannot maneuver around parked vehicles. Therefore, it is imperative that when in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine, motorists follow two basic safety rules when parking:
- Never park on the streetcar tracks.
- Always park completely within the white parking lines along the streetcar route.
This includes making sure your vehicle's side-view mirrors are inside the lines. Also, make sure to look for a streetcar before opening your door.
Beginning Friday, vehicles parked on the tracks, or outside the white parking lines along the streetcar route, will be towed and/or ticketed. The fine
for parking on the tracks, or in the white lines surrounding the tracks, is $50.
Motorists in violation of existing parking regulations such as double parking, parking in a no parking zone or parking in a truck unloading zone have been,
and will continue to receive tickets, or have their vehicle towed.
"This is first and foremost about safety. We do not want to see anyone ticketed or towed, however, parking on or near the tracks is illegal and unsafe,"
said Rocky Merz,a city spokesman.
"We recognize this new transportation infrastructure is something everyone needs to get used to. We want people to understand the importance of not parking on, or near, the tracks."
Improperly parked cars are unsafe and cause unnecessary delays during streetcar testing. When the streetcar begins passenger service, vehicles blocking the streetcar will interrupt streetcar service.
About the streetcar:
Opening in September, the Cincinnati Streetcar connects The Banks and riverfront, downtown and Over-the-Rhine. The Cincinnati Streetcar is owned and funded by the city of Cincinnati.
The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority manages the streetcar under contract with the city of Cincinnati. Transdev handles day-to-day operations and maintenance activities under contract to SORTA.