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Council approves Washington Avenue parking benefit district

We’ll see how this works.

The Houston City Council on Wednesday formed a special parking district along Washington Avenue, intended to ease the woes associated with the bustling corridor’s mix of bars, restaurants and residential streets.

The plan will add parking meters on about 350 spaces along Washington, and will make it easier for residents to require parking permits on sleepy side streets. The district extends one block on either side of Washington between Westcott and Houston Avenue.

After paying for the meters, two parking enforcement officers and a meter mechanic, the new revenues will be split between the district and the city, with the district keeping 60 percent for enhancements. Projects will be chosen by a committee of local business owners and residents and could include security, lighting, sidewalks, shuttles or a parking garage.

Councilwoman Ellen Cohen, who, with Councilman Ed Gonzalez, represents the area, cheered the approval, saying it will spur turnover for businesses and protect residents. She said data from other cities shows the meters will add patrons, not drive them away.

“People that go out to restaurants and are prepared to spend a significant amount of money want to find a place to park,” Cohen said. “They’re certainly prepared to spend a little bit more to find a place and pay for it.”

See here for the background, and here for more information about what this means. Once the meters are in place, the clock will start on the 18-month pilot period, after which the program can be modified, renewed, or terminated. I think this is a perfectly reasonable response to the problem, certainly a better solution than just giving out residential parking permits, which would only exacerbate the shortage. I look forward to the announcement of the first improvement projects that result from the revenue that this will raise.

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3 Comments

  1. Paul Kubosh says:

    “WE’LL SEE HOW THIS WORKS”

    That just about says it all. It is my natural instinct to oppose all new government bureaucracy there is a problem. We shall see. One thing is for sure. Once the parking meters go up. They will never come down.

  2. joshua bullard says:

    Its terrible,this one really hurts me,the mayor really hurt me on this one,sometimes i feel like the mayor is abusing me emotionally with legislation like this-lets look at the facts,jane cahill west is actually behind most of at least theperson that will profit the most from this item-the mayor will appoint the board of cahills choosing-if you look at jane c west background youll be amazed to find out the federal judge she works for downtown-not that charles kuffner wants you to read all about it,this thing is awful all the way around.YOU got this busy street in houston,98 percent of the people that are generating the revenue-are people from other areas of houston and their the ones that paid for the public street to begin with -now they have to pay twice,and the mayor lines the pocket of cahill west and her friends-and lets not forget the canadian ellen cohen that lead the charge-talk about going back in time to a big goverment with tax dollars to spend-damn it mayor you jammed me on this one right in my face…….

    stop this tom follery mayor
    joshua ben bullard

  3. […] the freedom to come up with their own solutions for their own unique problems, as was done for the Washington Avenue corridor, is the way to go. I’m impressed by how flexible the city has been, and judging by the […]

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