AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s hard enough to find a place to park in downtown Austin on a weekend night, and now it looks like it’s about to get even tougher near Rainey Street.
Signs are popping up along Holly Street, just two blocks east from Rainey Street, telling neighbors “Holly Street being considered for residential permit parking (RPP).”
Neighbors like Ramona Ramirez say they want their parking spots back. “Oh my goodness, I have a lot of problems here,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez has lived in the same home on Holly Street for more than six decades. She’s seen her once-sleepy street transform into what’s now known as Rainey’s overflow parking street. Despite efforts to hang “No Parking” signs and putting orange cones in the road, she’s dealing with some determined drivers.
“They park there,” Ramirez said pointing to the curb in front of her home. “They don’t care, they don’t care.”
Many of the homes along Holly Street don’t have driveways or garages, so homeowners are left to fight with the masses. Ramirez says construction workers pack the spots during the day, and bar goers snatch them up at night—causing one big headache when family comes to see her.
“Sometimes they come and pick me up you know, to go to church, and they can’t park here because there is a lot of cars in here.”
While the push for residential parking permits may provide relief to people like Ramirez, others have watched with dread as more blocks begin to take away options.
“If you’re just coming down for just one drink or for dinner or something like that it’s kind of tough, it makes it nearly impossible to just come and relax,” Trevor Greyson said. Greyson also argues, the change will create a tough time for tourists.
To qualify for the residential parking program, at least 60 percent of the people who live on the Holly Street block must sign a petition in support. Then the city does an inventory. If the block is at least 75 percent occupied, with at least 25 percent of cars belonging to non-residents, the permit program is granted. On Holly Street, the city is considering permit parking between Interstate 35 and Waller Street.