Parking Problems

Perhaps this is an indication that we need more public transportation options in Austin:

Austin most expensive Texas city for parking
Austin Business Journal
09/18/08
By A.J. Mistretta

Having trouble finding inexpensive parking in and around downtown Austin? You’re not alone. A new national study shows Austin is among the top 20 most expensive cities in North America for daily parking, and by far the most expensive in Texas.

The Parking in America report from the National Parking Association ranks Austin the 15th most-expensive city on the continent for daily parking, with a rate of $19.50. The only other Texas city to rank among the top 50 in daily parking rates is Houston, with a rate of $17.75. The Capital City also ranks high in short-term parking with a rate of $8 for the first hour. That’s the 12th highest in the country, tied with San Diego, Miami and Calgary, Alberta.

First-hour rates in other Texas cities are: Houston, $6.50; Fort Worth, $5.75; Dallas, $5.25; El Paso, $5; San Antonio, $4.50.

There is some good news for regular parkers. Austin’s monthly rate for an unreserved space is $116, making it the 48th most expensive city on that front. Houston has the most expensive monthly rate in Texas at $169, followed by Dallas at $136.

The most expensive city in the country for monthly parking? New York gets that honor with a monthly rate of $479. The Big Apple is followed by Boston at $437 a month and Honolulu at $389.

3 thoughts on “Parking Problems

  1. Ed Easton

    What the article doesn’t address is that high parking prices in garages and lots lead to more and more people circling the block endlessly looking for the coveted metered spot. The City of Austin contributes to the problem by a. not charging a market rate to park at meters and b. only enforcing before 5:30 on weekdays. I often circle around a half-dozen times before coughing up the 7 bucks it takes to park at a downtown evening event (when I am not on Capital Metro of course.) All the circling obviously contributes to congestion and pollution…

  2. Erica McKewen

    Ed, you might be interested in this June 2008 curbside parking study done by the New York-based group Transit Alternatives. One finding: Underpriced curbside parking on the Upper West Side resulted in drivers on Columbus Ave. cruising a total of 366,000 miles a year, producing 325 tons of carbon dioxide, at a cost to drivers of $130,000 per year in wasted fuel and more than 50,000 hours spent circling in traffic.

  3. martin

    I think parking should be expensive because it takes up very valuable space that could otherwise be used for something positive, like more housing, more parks, more places of employment. Instead people insist on driving their cars to most destinations and we end up living in an asphalt wasteland.
    I think in Austin we have a chicken or the egg problem. We need probably less parking downtown to encourage more transit ridership but we also need better transit choices so that more people would consider traveling downtown by transit instead of car. No matter how much I champion the use of the bus I realize there are alot of people we won’t get out of their car until they feel that the bus or **light rail** that they can get on is:
    1. convenient
    2. safe
    3. comfortable and clean
    4. frequent
    Unfortunately not many people think this about the bus in Austin currently. I think it is all of the above (except frequent all the time), but again, like I said, its hard to convince some.
    I think you need to work both in tandum. We need to increase parking rates and the increases in those rates need to go toward projects supporting walkability, bikeability and transit solutions. Therefore, in theory, you could get a gradual betterment in options as parking gets more expensive. Something similar to this has been put in place in West Campus. I think we need parking districts all around the central city that charges the occasional user while keeping residents happy about decreasing traffic and congestion in the neighborhood streets.

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