A cursory look at variances granted by the BZA for Broad Ripple addresses demonstrates at least 226 spaces written off. A 2007 study concluded that a particular 6 block area of Broad Ripple had a deficit of 132 parking spaces at 11 pm on weekends (adequate at all other times) and projected to have a deficit of 180 parking spaces at 11 pm on weekends in the future.
The idea for linkage between BZA decisions to reduce the required number of parking spaces and any perception of need for Broad Ripple parking spots came from Broad Ripple resident and neighborhood activist, Clarke Kahlo.
My first stop was to the City's GIS mapping function. Below is a display of variances granted in the Broad Ripple area. These variances are for any number of requests, not just to reduce the number of required parking spaces.
To begin an examination of the BZA/BR parking correlation, I plugged a set of street addresses into the City's "Citizen's Portal". I searched for variances for 515-927 Westfield, 700-1000 Broad Ripple, and 6200-6400 for N. College, Guilford, Carrollton, and Winthrop Avenues. I could get no information about Broad Ripple Avenue variances; the two word name is likely the problem as the City's GIS map shows multiple variances on that street segment. The reports generated included brief descriptions of the variances requested. While many of the descriptions included a reference to reduced parking, I report below only those that gave both the number requested/approved and the number required by ordinance.
It will take more time to follow up on all of the variances reported for these streets and to get the information for Broad Ripple Avenue. But, clearly, the data are sufficient to conclude that had the BZA's be more strict and denied variances for parking spaces in this area, there would be no perceived need for a new parking garage and no need for a $6.35 million taxpayer subsidy.