It was suggested in last week’s Austin Business Journal that Capital Metro “is in no position to provide relief” for parking problems in downtown Austin. We kind of scratched our heads at that assertion and submitted the following letter to the editor in response. The letter ran in this week’s edition:
The suggestion that Capital Metro “is in no position to provide relief” ["Downtown parking scrutinized," Jul. 30 - Aug.5 edition] for downtown Austin parking is perplexing. Transit is an extremely viable alternative to driving downtown and struggling to find an affordable parking space. Capital Metro provides a thorough and comprehensive level of service in the heart of the city, with convenient access from all across our community.
The recent addition of MetroRail is a long-term investment that further enhances options to get Downtown without having to park. Furthermore, Capital Metro is a supportive partner in the efforts to create a transportation management association to provide enhanced alternatives to ease the heavy congestion downtown.
Parking is never free in the big picture. It consumes a huge amount of space, and the costs, if not borne by the user, are passed on to the community in the form of congestion, air pollution and many other problems.
The reality is Capital Metro is in excellent position to provide relief.
Elaine Timbes is executive vice president/interim chief operating officer of Capital Metro.