AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo called for change and more options for downtown revelers following a deadly weekend involving multiple DWI arrests in the city.
“We need to create opportunities for people to be able to leave their cars in parking garages especially on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights,” he said.
But, KXAN learned you actually do have options to leave your car parked overnight downtown and you might not even know about them.
During the day, one driver after another pulls into this downtown parking lot looking for a place to park. At night, some say it’s even harder to find a spot.
“Anything that can be done on the weekends…Thursday, Friday or Saturday’s to discourage drunk driving absolutely has to be done,” said Pedram Amini, who works downtown.
But Austin parking officials say people are allowed to leave their cars parked in certain lots and on the street overnight.
There are more than 3,000 street spaces and a little more than 4,000 spots in city garages downtown. And, officials say when it comes to overnight parking, those spaces are more than enough.
And here’s something else you may not know. The pay stations on many of the downtown streets also give you an option to leave your car.
“So if you know you’re going to be leaving your car and not coming back early the next morning all you have to do is push the next day button and purchase it,” explained Austin parking manager Steve Grassfield.
But some worry something might happen to their car if they leave it overnight
“It’s downtown so sometimes it would be a little unnerving to leave your car down here and not know that it’s safe,” one woman KXAN spoke to said.
APD says officers are not currently assigned to keep an eye on cars overnight. But most garages have surveillance cameras.
City officials also say they will dismiss a ticket if you leave your car parked on the street overnight and get a ticket because you chose to take a cab home. Just go to the parking division office located at 1111 Rio Grande Street.