City Planning App To Reduce Useless Downtown Circling, $80 Parking Fees

CITY PLANNING APP TO REDUCE USELESS DOWNTOWN CIRCLING, $80 PARKING FEES downtown-parking-garageThe city approved $9,600 yesterday toward planning a system to help drivers (particularly out-of-towners) find parking Downtown, Dug Begley writes. The system would be designed to display prices and current space availability for 7-or-so to-be-finalized private parking vendors on a smartphone app, along with a series of electronic signs like the ones installed around the city’s airports. The city would pay for about 20 percent of the $4.1-ish million project, which would be mostly funded by federal money aimed at reducing air pollution (in this case, extra emissions from excessively long and looping parking space searches). Begley also writes that city leaders think the system could cut down on price gouging, noting that prices for recent special events, “especially near Minute Maid Park, have spiked to $80 as demand increased.” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo of downtown parking garage: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool

7 Comment

  • Are they going to charge us $1.50 to use it like they will the taxi-cab-hailing app?

  • How many pedestrians will be run over by bozos fiddling with the app while driving?

  • Instead of re-inventing the wheel, have they considered teaming up with an existing service like ParkWhiz? I’ve started using them to reserve parking for downtown events this past year and now that’s one less hassle for me.

  • Why should taxpayers fund apps for private parking lots and private taxi companies? Will taxpayers help pay for an app for my business? I guess someday, somewhere I’ll read about someone getting kickbacks for City Council votes. Remember Ben Reyes?

  • I’m with Shady and Slug.

    We shouldn’t be funding this with tax $. Let private companies come up with an app / solution for this. If there is this pent of demand for downtown parking, why haven’t the garages come up with the solution to prominently display their rates? And $80 for event parking? If you’re too lazy to park farther away then I feel as if you deserve to pay $80. No one is being forced to pay that much. People chose to pay that much. It is not hard to find parking downtown, I’m sorry. This is a solution finding a problem here.

  • Ditto to the comments from slugline, ShadyHeightster, and dnaguy: Namely, stop spending tax dollars for a private industry problem.
    The free market will take care of it. Fools paying $80 will soon not have enough money to keep doing it or will park 2 blocks away for less. If the private parking vendors want to feature their prices, they can pay for their own app or electronic display.
    The city wants to first throw $9,600 out the window before kicking in around $800,000 for the final project? Nuts.

  • Nothing worse than having dead space and seeing ugly parking lots in downtown. Make downtown dense with underground parking and parking under the pierce elevated, 59, and i10 and if you are coming into the city you either deal with scarce parking downtown or park in a lot around downtown and take a pedi cab, Uber, or walk to your destination like a real city.