INDIANAPOLIS - A Call 6 Investigation into the Broad Ripple parking garage has caught the attention of University of Indianapolis Professor Stanley Osweiler.
The marketing professor contacted Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney after her story aired, saying he wants one of his classes to tackle parking problems in the area and come up with solutions.
"I was intrigued by the story," Osweiler said. "Anytime, in my view, taxpayer money is involved, that becomes our individual and collective business. That’s what sparked my interest in it."
Officials said $6.35 million of the public’s money went into the Broad Ripple parking garage, which opened to drivers in April 2013, and had its official ribbon-cutting May 2, 2013.
The City of Indianapolis and garage owners and management, Keystone and Newpoint Parking respectively, would not release data showing how many cars have parked there.
So, the Call 6 team counted cars day and night throughout the fall and found of the 328 paid spaces in the garage, the structure was 5.5 percent full, on average.
Counting only the peak times, around 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the garage was 19.8 percent full, on average.
Some argue the garage was a waste of public dollars.
Osweiler has offered his services, free of charge, to Keystone.
"There’s a protocol we follow and it’s served us pretty well and the students walk away with a sense of, in many cases, having done a service for the community," Osweiler said.
Osweiler said his students would try to come up with solutions to help the Broad Ripple area’s parking situation, as well as ways to measure success.
The students would then make a presentation to Keystone with their findings.
Osweiler said they’ve done similar work for the Indianapolis Zoo, French Lick and Sun King Brewery.
The goal is not just to help Keystone make money and help the community, but to help students learn.
"They get to work on something real and that’s marvelous for them," Osweiler said.
Mike Patarino, vice president of real estate for Keystone Realty, said he plans to meet with Osweiler soon.
Patarino has also pointed out the garage was mainly intended for use during peak times, which are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Orange Leaf and Massage Envy have moved into the garage since the story aired last year, joining Firehouse Subs and Marco’s Pizza.
"It will be more profitable as we have more parkers in there and as our retail spaces get filled out," Patarino said last fall.
A residential parking permit program was supposed to go hand in hand with the Broad Ripple parking garage, but that program has still yet to come to fruition.
The Broad Ripple Village Association has yet to announce exactly which streets and blocks will be impacted and when.