Parking Districts and the City
By Becky Cass
The Washington Avenue Corridor of Houston is known to cater to mid-20s and early 30s professionals who enjoy bars and clubs with drinks and eats. Although the strip of Washington Ave. is full of clubs, bars, and restaurants, surrounding side streets are packed with residential condos and homes. The two groups combined left very few parking options for either partygoers or residents.
The residents of the area feared development as they realized more patrons meant less parking. So a parking benefit district was born in the city. Sold as a win-win for the city and residents, the district deployed parking meters on the street and enforced residential parking passes for the community. This was a cost-efficient solution to the parking problem that generates revenue for the district and allows the establishments to advertise parking for their patrons.
It has been almost five years since the parking district was established and judging by the streets filled with vehicles and the sidewalks packed with patrons, it has only encouraged young professionals to keep coming out.
Will parking districts be a big-city solution?
Becky Cass is area manager with Winpark.