Detroit residents voice issues with city's new parking rules near Little Caesars Arena

The City of Detroit is implementing new residential parking zones near Little Caesars Arena in hopes of giving some residents designated parking that they've been requesting for years.

Others say the modifications will only make street parking in Downtown Detroit even more difficult.

"It is hectic," said Androme West, a resident of Detroit's entertainment district for 15 years. "It is absolutely no parking."

From Jan. 2 into February 2024, changes to parking enforcement will be rolled out in each new zone, making sure "residents with a parking permit in designated areas without driveways and garages have dedicated street parking near their homes," according to Detroit's Municipal Parking Department

Residents in the designated zones can apply for a residential parking permit through the online form here. However, applicants must wait to be approved by the City Council.

Additionally, the city will begin enforcing parking safety violations on Sundays starting Jan. 2 – including but not limited to "parking in front of fire hydrants, bus stops, no parking zones, and no standing zones," the department released. Once enforcement begins, it will be implemented seven days a week.

"Previously, these violations were only enforced Monday through Saturday," according to the city.

Street parking will remain free on Sundays and holidays. 

Detroit's new residential parking zones:

  • Cass Park and Selden zones: enforcement starts Jan. 2
  • Southern Brush Park zone: enforcement starts Jan. 16
  • Central Brush Park zone: enforcement starts February

"The zones were created at the request of residents within neighborhoods who are finding it increasingly difficult to find parking near their apartments due to the growing number of visitors to nearby restaurants and entertainment venues, especially at night," the news release stated.

The city's Residential Permit Parking Program will reduce the number of spots West and her neighbors can take, she said.

"We try to put out cones sometimes… to just make sure that the people who get off late – and when I say late I mean 5:30, 6, 7 o’clock – can have a parking spot." West said.

Signs part of Detroit's Residential Parking Permit Program. (Provided by the Municipal Parking Department)

Another Detroit resident of 15 years, who asked not to be identified, said despite residential parking signs already going up recently, she had photos and videos of people, who do not live in the area, parking in those zones.

"It’s making a difficult situation worse because, at least before, when someone took street parking we could roll the dice and park anywhere," she said. "Now we’re limited to these very few spots. And if we don’t get those spots, then we have nowhere else to go, and we’re going to get tickets every single day." 

However, Director of Municipal Parking Keith Hutchings said the department is excited about implementing the Residential Parking Permit Program.

"We had great community engagement, and then had really good public hearings, and almost unanimous support," Hutchings said. "We’re really looking forward to it because we should see this really improve the quality of life."

West disagrees. She said the new designated parking zones may hurt residents in the long run.

"It’s the entertainment district now and people want to come to the games – and we’re not against any of that – but what we are against is putting them above us. Choosing them over us," she said. "That's what we're upset about, because we live here and this is the only place we have to park."

West and her neighbor said they have called and tried to submit an application online for their residential parking permits, but have not gotten anywhere.

Detroit officials such as Hutchings are still advising residents that the best to apply for a permit is online. Park Detroit will work through the holidays to assist applicants.