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The Washington Avenue parking benefit district is now operational

From CultureMap:

Meet the meter

It took a while, but nearly five months after Houston City Council approved the first citywide Parking Benefit District for the Washington Avenue corridor, the meters started charging at 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

The City of Houston’s Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department hopes to solve a handful of issues with the new parking system, including a lack of curbside parking and congested neighborhood streets, while promoting alternate means of transportation like walking, cycling and public transit

By defining the bar-studded thoroughfare as a PBD, approximately 60 percent of the proceeds from the meters — which stretches from Westcott Street to Houston Avenue and charges $1 per hour during daytime hours and $2 per hour at night Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. — will fund neighborhood improvement projects like landscaping, street maintenance, public safety, lighting, sidewalk and pedestrian improvements.

Visitors can pay to park with credit card or via the Parkmobile App (one that will allow you to add time via smartphone if you get caught up at happy hour); neighborhood residents and business owners will have designated permit parking areas Thursday through Sunday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Here’s the official city webpage on the PBD; I blogged about it before here, here, and here. Council will review the district and its results in 18 months. I hope it works as advertised. It’s a straightforward solution that recognizes parking is a scarce resource in some parts of town, and scarce resources should be valued appropriately. It would be great if the PBD provides enough funds to make some infrastructure improvements to Washington Avenue, which has some of the worst sidewalks for what should be a very walkable area anywhere. Via Swamplot, which has some good maps.

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