Speedway putting brakes on free parking during race events

Town tries permit system for street parking

SPEEDWAY, Ind. - The days of a free parking spot for the Indy 500 might be ending.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced last month that infield parking will no longer be free.

Now, the town of Speedway is starting a trial street parking permit system that would restrict street parking to residents.

"The traditional program for decades has been people putting out cones, sawhorses and chairs to block spaces, and that doesn't work. It's not a perfect system," said Speedway resident Frank Van Overmeiren, who is part of the town committee that came up with the trial permit system.

Under the new system, homeowners can get two free street parking permits plus two more for off-site parking.

The permits are only required on days of race events. People who park illegally will be towed and face a $100 fine.

The town says there have been confrontations over parking, but several homeowners said that's never been an issue.

"They say it's to make it a more friendly town, but I don't see how that makes it more friendly when you tell people they can't come in here," said Speedway resident Donald Trover.

"Whatever prompted it, I have no clue," said Speedway resident Jeff Cornelius.

The town will use volunteers to explain the parking permit program to race fans, and if all goes well, parking stickers could become a race event requirement.

Speedway will use the permit system seven days in May leading up to and including the Indy 500, plus during the Brickyard 400 and MotoGP.

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