The Austin Chronicle

New Parking Rules Downtown

By Wells Dunbar, August 26, 2011, News

City Council voted to expand paid parking hours Downtown last week, scaling back a broader expansion it approved this spring while bumping up the geographic boundaries of a compromise resolution offered by Mike Martinez. Martinez's item preserved the original citywide expansion of hours from 5:30pm to 6pm but shrunk evening paid parking hours (6pm-12mid) from almost all week to just Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. His resolution also decreased the footprint of blocks covered by the evening expansion, moving the northern boundary from 10th Street to Eighth. But following comments from Bill Spelman on the potential loss of revenue and with Chris Riley sounding off on the history of paid parking and the need to manage "the finite number of on-street spaces," council approved Spelman's substitute motion to expand the area back to 10th Street, with support from Riley, Sheryl Cole, and Lee Leffing­well. The change takes effect in September, with a one-month grace period. Council promised to revisit the issue periodically, along with additional changes to parking policy; city manager recommendations regarding valet parking companies and the (admittedly meager) fees they pay the city are expected in the coming months.

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