When we moved downtown, it’s rare we get visitors. Parking is intimidating. I get it. It was our choice to move here and I understand it can be a hassle to people.
Don’t Panic About Traffic
For one, many people avoid downtown thinking the traffic is nuts.
Not the case though.
Usually when people come downtown, it is for an event and traffic is crazy. It’s like that with anything, anywhere though. The other 90% of the time, traffic isn’t an issue at all. To be completely honest, one of the biggest things I love about living downtown is dealing with less traffic. We are smack in the middle of everything so it takes the same amount of time to get to any side of town. Plus when going to work, everyone is always coming in when we are going out (and vice versa).
Then for traffic in general, there really is not much. It gets busy during week days when people are here for work, and I really wish more people were here in the evenings. Being downtown really is not as busy as you would think.
If you are looking to come here for dinner or to go out, the south Meridian side of downtown gets busy on Friday and Saturday nights, so if you park a little out and walk in, you really won’t have to deal with traffic.
And sure–if there is a Pacer or Colts’ game, concert or other event, that area where the event is will be busy. But I’ll be honest. I sat in so much more traffic in the suburbs. Way more than I ever have downtown.
Parking Isn’t That Difficult, I Promise!
When parking in Downtown Indy, it really isn’t too bad. If parallel parking doesn’t totally freak you out, prices aren’t bad at a meter. You just have to pay from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and you can park for a couple hours for about $2. On Sundays and national holidays, you don’t have to pay at meters at all. Plus if you get the Park Indy app, you can add more money to your meter without having to actually walk back to the meter. You have to add in your license plate number, so get the app before you park unless you aren’t in a time crunch after parking.
If it’s your first time using a meter, simply see what the number is for your parking spot (there are arrows that help you), then walk to the nearest pay station. Type in your number, put in your credit card or money and then voila. You are done. And if you get lucky, the person before you might have money left!
As far as garages go, the Circle Center parking garages have good pricing. You can park for couple hours for $2.50. Plus if you park in the mall, you can get to several places inside using the skywalk. Keep this in mind during the winter because even when the mall closes, you can still walk through it if you have parked in the garages. We have walked through the mall at like 12 a.m.
I would recommend if you are trying to park downtown, you can take advantage of great pricing at a meter or at the mall. If you go to some of the surrounding lots for events, you are looking at paying anywhere from $10-$20. This might be worth it if you plan on being somewhere for hours and hours, but it is pricey. Because keep in mind, you don’t have to pay for metered spots after 9 p.m.
Also, if you don’t mind walking, there are certain areas on the outer areas of downtown or in Fletcher Place where you don’t have to pay to park.
It might take little patience and using your map on your phone to get where you are going, but I promise. It is not as intimidating as you think.