Houston Officials Hope New Initiative Solves Parking Problems In Busy Corridor

The Parking Benefit District will extend along Washington Avenue from Houston Avenue to Westcott Street. [Google Maps screen grab]
Drivers will now have to start feeding the meters on Washington Avenue, the district west of downtown. The city is putting a new plan into effect that's designed to cut down on parking problems in a neighborhood that's seen explosive growth.

With all the new nightclubs that have opened over the past few years, residents near Washington Avenue have been at odds with business owners. They say they can't get to their homes at night because of all the cars parked on their streets.  

But the city hopes that all changes with the new Parking Benefit District.

"It should ultimately turn out to be a much more organized process rather than the chaos it is now."  

Houston's Deputy Director of Administration and Regulatory Affairs Don Pagel says the Parking Benefit District will extend along Washington Avenue from Houston Avenue to Westcott Street.  

Fifteen residential blocks will have restricted parking. People who live there will be given parking permits. For visitors, the city has installed 56 parking meters, and that will create about 390 metered spaces.  

It's $1.00 an hour to park during the day, $2.00 at night, and there's a $7.00 flat fee.  

"By putting meters on the street it's going to cause primarily the employees to find better places to park. The idea here is to create the best proximity for patrons of the businesses."  

And Pagel says most of the parking meter revenues will go back into the neighborhood. Sixty percent of revenues will be used for neighborhood improvements.  

"Those would include better lighting, better sidewalks, and better security. I think those are the top three everyone is looking at right now."  

Pagel says the parking district expects to generate about a half-million dollars in revenues during an 18-month pilot program.

Bio photo of Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

Gail Delaughter joined KUHF in October 2008 as Saturday morning news anchor and host. A native of New Orleans and a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, Gail has extensive experience in Texas and Louisiana as a radio news reporter and morning show anchor and co-host...