Covington bans overnight parking around George Rogers Clark Park

Parking restricted near GRC Park because of large gatherings

KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - The City of Covington is banning on-street, overnight parking on certain streets in the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood, according to a city release issued Wedneday.

The rule can be read in full here.

The streets are as follows:

  • All of Riverside Drive;
  • 2nd Street, from Riverside Place to Shelby Street;
  • all of Shelby Street;
  • all of Kennedy Street;
  • Garrard Street, from Riverside Drive to 2nd Street.
Covington bans on-street, overnight parking on streets in Licking Historic District.
Covington bans on-street, overnight parking on streets in Licking Historic District. (Source: City of Covington)

Residents of the neighborhood who have a residential parking permit are excluded from the ban, the city says.

The rule, established through executive order by Mayor Joe Meyer, will run until Oct. 31 unless rescinded.

It comes after large crowds have been observed gathering late into the night, according to the release.

The gatherings reportedly occur at George Rogers Clark Park, across the street on benches and on surrounding streets in violation of COVID-19-related public health guidances, the city says.

“Federal and state health directives have made it clear that the gathering of large groups in close proximity is dangerous to the public’s health, and the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Kentucky is bearing that out,” City Manager David Johnston said.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced last week an order banning social, non-commercial gatherings of more than 10 people in Kentucky.

Kentucky Health Commissioner Steven Stack, MD, said at the time such gatherings had been identified as a source of case clusters.

Describing what fell under the scope of the order, Stack referenced large, “informal” gatherings of family and friends in backyard and block-party-like settings where “we are most likely to let our guard down” with a hug, back pat or nudge or by speaking closely.

Covington City Manager David Johnston says Kentucky’s recent surge in COVID-19 cases also played a part in the decision to prohibit on-street parking in the area.

Additionally, the city release says previous mayoral executive orders have limited use of Covington parks to daytime hours.

Ben Hendricks has lived in the area for two years.

He says of the gatherings: “It’s been a little worse this year at night, because people are cooped up because of the virus and they want to get out and have sometime outdoors.”

He says the gatherings are “inherently dangerous” due to the pandemic.

“It’s unfortunate,” he added. “People want to get out and want to be together, but it’s not healthy. It’s not safe.”

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