Parking In Riverside-Normal City

This initiative relates to the MAP Initiative 4.3, “strengthen code enforcement.” Parking in Riverside -Normal City (RNC) remains an area of opportunity throughout the neighborhood. RNC residents have voiced their concerns about on street parking along with vehicles parking on the grass in front of homes. Coordination between code enforcement and the residents in RNC will lead to a more improved overall neighborhood experience.

Why this is important

The opportunity to help improve the parking conditions came about from talking to residents and from spending time in the neighborhood. The neighborhood survey revealed that parking issues were a problem that the residents would like to see addressed and also received a medium priority level by the residents and students living within RNC. While parking is still an important initiative to work on, this initiative can be started after the higher priority initiatives have been completed.

The reason why improving parking is important is because of the number of cars parked on the streets and on the grass.Many cars parked on the street have created some hazardous areas in RNC while cars parked on the grass and gravel lots have created some non-scenic views for residents (Figure 1). On-street parking also causes congestion for emergency vehicles and endangers pedestrians. Enforcing parking in front of homes will encourage residents to park in their designated areas on their property, while also encouraging land lords to create more adequate parking.


Figure 1: Current parking situations. Image: Josh Law.

What this will involve

To improve parking, it must start with code enforcement by ticketing illegally parked cars. This will begin to reduce the amount of cars parked on the street. Because residents will not be able to park on street without a permit it will encourage landlords to create more suitable parking for homes with multiple vehicles. To further encourage organized parking, a neighborhood ordinance could be established to designate parking areas in front of or behind homes. This would involve creating the same number of parking spots for the same number of bedrooms. Because cars will have clearly marked parking spaces, this will shrink the gravel and grass created parking spots that some homes have. Figure 2 shows a before rendering of current parking conditions within the neighborhood. Figure 3 shows what the same area could look like in the future after more specific parking is dedicated to homes. This figure shows a visual representation of how parking at homes could be condensed and how much grass and green spaces would become available.


Figure 2: Current Parking Conditions. Image: Josh Law.


Figure 3: Proposed Parking Conditions. Image: Josh Law.

Parking in the Village was also brought up by residents. Monitoring parking in RNC can be a difficult task, but with the addition of parking meters in the Village, this task could be accomplished while also providing additional income to the community. A public improvement district (PID) is one way that RNC can guarantee the money collected from these meters and other parking-related fees is kept within the neighborhood. This money could then be used to either hire additional code enforcement officers or to develop or rehabilitate housing, improve parking conditions, or improve sidewalks within a neighborhood.

The combination of code enforcement tickets and meter parking income could greatly benefit RNC by taking the revenue from both income sources listed above and placing it back into the community.

Contact Information for Funding/Assistance Sources

Department of Community Development
300 N. High St. City Hall
Muncie, IN 47305-1639
Phone:   (765) 747-4825
Fax:        (765) 747-4898
Contact: Ms. Terry Bailey Director

Summary of relevant case studies

Case Study: Turning Small Change Into Big Changes

The city of Old Pasadena is a commercial district in southern California that was completely revitalized by the implementation of the parking meter. The city in 1993 had no parking meters and $0 dollars in extra income but by 2001 they had yielded a $1.2 million net parking revenue. The city created a PID which kept all the money received from these parking meters in the community. They then used this money to reinvest into the area by adding street lights and fixtures, fixing and maintaining sidewalks, and more trees and plants throughout the area. Although RNC is not a main economic attracting overall, the Village does receive enough traffic to think about the implementation of parking meters. The money taken from these meters could then be used like Old Pasadena by placing it back into the neighborhood.


Figure 4: Downtown Parking Meters. Source.


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