The 19 Spots in Houston Where You’re Most Likely To Get a Parking Ticket

Houston Municipal Court Building, 1400 Lubbock St., HoustonSurprise! The spot in Houston where the most parking tickets have been issued over the last 2 years is . . . the place where people go to pay for their parking tickets. That would be at the surface parking lot for the city’s municipal courthouse at 1400 Lubbock St. (pictured at right), where a couple advantages accrue for illegal parkers: If you’ve got money with you when you return to find that bright green envelope tucked under your windshield wiper, paying up will be extremely convenient, and the parking while you go back in should be . . . uh, no extra charge!

Working from public data, Click2Houston reporter Jace Larson compiled the top 19 addresses cited in the 415,000 parking citations the city issued in 2012 and 2013, and highlighted 6 of them in his TV report. Of the top 19, only 6 are not directly adjacent to government or public-institution-related buildings; the vast majority of them are Downtown. Among the non-central parking-enforcement hotspots: an IRS service center and a couple of residential blocks near Montrose nightclubs. Here’s a list and map of the parking-enforcement hotspots, along with a few details from Larson’s report and observations of the map:


  1. 1400 Lubbock St., Downtown: 5,423 tickets. A lot outside the city’s Herbert W. Gee Municipal Courts Building (see photo at top). Visitors here have likely already received some sort of bad news, Larson notes.
  2. 400 Texas Ave., Downtown: 4,156 tickets. Park outside the Hard Rock Cafe at Bayou Place at night, when parking is not allowed, and you’re pretty certain to get a ticket.
  3. 4400 San Jacinto St., Downtown: 3,383 tickets. This is a city-owned surface parking lot lodged under the Southwest Fwy. at Fannin St. It’s next door to the Mexican Consulate.
  4. 900 Girard St., Downtown: 3,184 tickets. According to Larson’s reporting, this is a city-owned lot frequented by students attending UH-Downtown; it apparently offers regular lessons in parking-meter studies.
  5. 1600 California St., Montrose: 2,603 tickets. This residential block behind the Westheimer Curve, where private driveways and garages are scarce, requires parked cars to sport a special residential permit if they’re there after 5 pm. And night-duty officers are often on hand to hand out tickets. Plus: towing is available, too! A resident tells Larson that there’s at least one towing every night.
  6. 8300 Tybor Dr., Sharpstown: 2,370 tickets. This is outside an Internal Revenue Service building in southwest Houston. A ticket is likely cheaper than an audit, but is sure to be specially prized by visitors as an add-on.
  7. 1000 Texas Ave., Downtown: 2,271 tickets. The block east of the Rice Hotel, which also contains a surface parking lot, is popular among the ticket-bearing set.
  8. 1100 Texas Ave.: 2,011 tickets. When friendly hospitality staff members at the Magnolia Hotel advise you to put your car in a parking garage, they mean it.
  9. 1500 Kane St., Old Sixth Ward: 1,981 tickets. The lot on this block is convenient to the municipal courthouse and next to Knapp Chevrolet, which appears to offer its own wrecker service and tow lot.
  10. 300 Caroline St., Downtown: 1,922 tickets. In the heart of the county court complex downtown.
  11. 1400 Lubbock St., Downtown: 1,895 tickets. Strangely, this is the second time this address shows up in KPRC’s list. Larson is aware of the glitch, and promises to let us know as soon as he’s figured what went wrong.
  12. 500 Walker St., Downtown: 1,865 tickets. Right outside City Hall.
  13. 100 San Jacinto St., Downtown: 1,777 tickets. There’s a parking lot on this block, which is adjacent to the Harris County Criminal Court building at 1201 Franklin and a short jaunt from the Family Law Center at 1115 Congress St.
  14. 900 Franklin St., Downtown: 1,699 tickets. There’s a gated lot here, behind the Islamic D’awah Center; Mark Latigue’s new Gallo Rojo restaurant will be opening up across the street.
  15. 1900 Travis St., Downtown: 1,665 tickets. Right outside Metro’s Downtown Transit Center
  16. 1600 McKinney St., Downtown: 1,607 tickets. This block is adjacent to Discovery Green, near the George R. Brown Convention Center. Citations here may include cars parked on the surface lot where a new Marriott Marquis is about to go up.
  17. 400 Avondale St., Montrose: 1,443 tickets. One block north of Westheimer, where all the action is.
  18. 12300 North Freeway, Greenspoint: 1,438 tickets. Also known as the Greenspoint Mall.
  19. 200 Caroline St., Downtown: 1,427 tickets. Directly in front of the Harris County Civil Courthouse.

All told, these addresses account for only a little more than 10 percent of the total number of citations issued. A larger version of Click2Houston’s map is available here.

Got any additional intel on the ins and outs of parking at any of these locations? Please share them in the comments section below!

Photo: The Court Finder

Hint: They’re Mostly Downtown

15 Comment

  • I’ve been working with our local friendly unnamed banana republic consulate to get Consul license plates for my car. For a small “donation” you get no more tickets and never get pulled over.

  • ^^ That is really random. Some of the spots if the parking expires 5 min later you will get a ticket I guess this is one of the reasons they have a hard time catching real criminal that do way bigger stuff

  • I would have sworn that the Lubbock St. location had a manned payment booth!

  • Headline should be: Parking tickets concentration highest near City Center surprises no one

  • This is a big reason that people don’t like to go downtown, not worth the $10 to $15 parking spot or the $50 ticket that you will surely get. In the meantime 400 cars a day are broken into, but nothing happens to those criminals

  • >> In the meantime 400 cars a day are broken into, but nothing happens to those criminals<<
    Unless they leave a business card or phone number how would you suggest the cops catch them? And do you really want smashed car windows to be a police priority over other crimes? If you park on the street anywhere at night that's the chance you take. Not just downtown.

  • I don’t understand all the bitchiness concerning enforcement of parking violations. I park all over this town and never receive any tickets because I follow the rules and read the signs. And the ticket cops are not the same type of cops that catch murderers and rapists, so that point is moot. There is a reason we have parking regulations. If you want to live in a place with no enforcement of rules, move to Brazil.

  • Huh. I live in midtown, spend a lot of time downtown, and have only once gotten a parking ticket years ago because I was young and stupid and parked where the signs CLEARLY told me not to. If you are getting parking tickets every time you go downtown Woody, you might want to spend a little time paying more attention to the signs.

  • I once got a ticket near Minute Maid, where the signs (used to?) read something like: “No parking one hour before or after a special event,” with no other reference to how to find out about said special event. And that year the Astros certainly weren’t a Special Event!

  • You can always count on @commonsense for his/her narcissistic dribblings; however, it lifts my spirits to see that he/she is truly one of the lowly proletariats that must deal with such mundane things as driving and parking, while grasping at the opportunity to bribe anyone that suits his/her needs.

  • “I don’t understand all the bitchiness”
    new here?

  • 18. Greenspoint Mall? With so much surface parking available around the mall, where are the tickets being issued at?

  • I’m with Superdave. Parking tickets don’t fall out of the sky onto your head, they happen (99% of the time) because you didn’t pay attention to the signs. I think I got my last parking ticket in the early 90s, and it was my own damn fault. (The car got towed, too! Street cleaning day in my old Boston neighborhood. Oops!) Parking downtown or in Montrose near clubs is not hard – you take ten minutes to find a spot and walk, or you suck it up and pay for a lot or garage. The only place I regularly am frustrated by parking is a strip center near my office at the Galleria, where there are a lot of lunch places, not enough room in the parking lot, and no on-street parking, but that’s just the stupidity of the Galleria’s built environment, so no big surprise.

    It never occurred to me to wonder why parking enforcement isn’t out finding murderers but that was probably just a big attack of logical thinking on my part.

  • @Bill
    I work in Greenspoint and there are signs at the entrances of the mall parking lot which say “no overnight parking”. I’m guessing it’s from that although I don’t know who would need to park there overnight or why the mall would care.

  • @Progg – The overnight parking could be big rigs, parking there to get a few hours of sleep before driving North.