Speedway puts brakes on street parking during race events

37 ticketed, 10 towed during qualifying weekend

SPEEDWAY, Ind. - Qualification weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway became very expensive for a few fans that either had their cars towed or ticketed.
It's part of a pilot program that's reserving street parking for Speedway homeowners.

The signs have been up for about a month, but old habits are hard to break. 

"We'd like to tow or ticket anyone, and we're tweaking the program now to increase signage and make certain that we have a presence in the area," said Barbara Lawrence, Speedway town manager.

The parking permit system restricts parking to residents during race events. Homeowners get two free parking permits so they have access to their homes on days like the 500, the 400 and MotoGP.

Over the weekend during the first real test of the plan, 37 tickets were issued and 10 vehicles were towed, and that has some people here concerned.

"The neighborhood people knew, but the general public didn't," said Speedway homeowner Michael Thiesing. "I hate to see anyone get towed. I don't want them to have a good time at the race only to come back and see that their car was towed."

The town came up with the trial parking permit system after complaints that fans took up all free street parking and often brought the party right to residents' doors.

Jereme Howery lives in Speedway, is a police officer there and is also required to display a permit. He said he understands the problem.

"They pull up to party, to stay and camp," Howery said. "They're not just here to park and go to the race and have a good time. They party and drink, and when you have a family like I do, it's a nuisance."

Each ticket runs at $100.

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