Efforts hope to improve downtown parking woes

Downtown parking signs - no parking - pay to park

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Downtown commuters often voice similar complaints – street parking is hard to find and garage parking is expensive. That’s why on Wednesday the Downtown Austin Alliance wants to hear from residents and business owners about what they think can be done to improve parking.

They are focusing on the downtown core:

  • Between Lady Bird Lake to the south
  • Martin Luther King Boulevard to the north
  • Lamar Boulevard to the west
  • I-35 to the east

One example of a parking problem the DAA sees is along Congress Avenue where every street parking spot is often taken by 9 a.m. and many spots are used by construction or worker vehicles. Some spots are regularly taken by those who have city permits to park there. The Downtown Austin Alliance believes that is going to keep residents from coming downtown to shop or eat out because they won’t want to deal with finding parking. Managing street parking is a top priority.

“These parking spaces should really be open for retailers along Congress Avenue so we need to have a better plan and strategy as to how we manage these parking spaces so we get turnover so retailers have parking during the day for people who want to come and do shopping along Congress Avenue,” said Dewitt Peart, DAA CEO and President.

The Downtown Austin Alliance has hired a consultant to create a strategy to improve parking that can be given to different city agencies. Some of the other ideas they are already looking at are putting in Wayfinding signs to tell commuters where parking spots are available or building parking garages on the outside of the downtown core and have buses bring in commuters.

There’s a community forum Wednesday night from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Google Fiber.

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