More PARK(ing) Woes

Yesterday Adam posted an Austin Business Journal article that reported Austin as one of the most expensive cities in the nation in which to park. A comment he received:

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… All the circling obviously contributes to congestion and pollution…

Today there are even fewer of those “coveted metered spots” available downtown. Today is National PARK(ing) Day, and Austin groups, like Save Our Springs Alliance, right, have turned metered parking spots throughout downtown into “mini parks” (if you can block out the whizzing noise of fast-moving and thick traffic).

The 451 ‘Dillo stops outside of Whole Foods, and there you can visit three of the renegade “parks” (I checked–all three groups had paid the meter).

Here’s Whole Foods’ Oktoberfest-themed park, complete with a jam box playing Polka tunes. Across the street, the Girl Scouts Council of Central Texas had set up camp–literally–in their parking spot, and visitors could make S’mores over a Coleman camp stove. (But eat up before you jump back on the ‘Dillo.)

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.