- Mark-Dana Corp. Closes on Land for Affordable Housing Project EaDo Lofts [HBJ ($)]
- Stream Realty Takes Over Leasing for Galleria Office Tower 3040 Post Oak [HBJ ($)]
- Lazybrook/Timbergrove Homes Saw Biggest Profits for Sellers Last Year, According to Zillow [Culturemap]
- FEMA-Funded Hotel Rooms End for 700 Families Displaced by Harvey [Houston Chronicle]
- Forty Five Ten To Close River Oaks District Location When Lease Expires This Fall [HBJ]
- Permanent Connector at U.S. 290 and 610 Loop to Open Today [HBJ]
- A Quarter of Parking Spaces at Memorial Park Will Be Metered Starting Later This Year [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot]
- Drone Captures Footage of Saharan Dust Over Houston Area [abc13]
Photo of 1020 Holcombe: BOldbury via Swamplot Flickr Pool
Re: Memorial Park
“A quarter of the parking spaces at Memorial Park will be metered starting later this year” …. the rest to follow soon. At what point does it become pointless to have large public parks if only the well to do can afford them? More neighborhood parks please.
@WR: Really? Only the ‘well to do’ can afford metered parking? Please. I would venture to say that anyone with a car can scrape together a dollar or two for otherwise free, outdoor fun.
Moreover, if the parking fees go to park upkeep, I am all for it.
(And newsflash: the same thing is coming to Hermann Park.)
I’m in agreement with museumgoer. Nothing in life is free, including the maintenance of major parks. The parking fee goes towards that so pipe down.
If the fee chaps your hide that much, take the bus – but I don’t want to hear any complaints that it costs $1.25 to ride each way. Or, carpool with your friends.
@ museumgoer ….. I am easily one of the “well to do” so it’s not a problem for me (or apparently for you), but what about others who are struggling to pay bills from week to week even though they have a job? Public parks are one of the “go to” places for such individuals and each additional dollar charged does affect who uses them. Besides golfers (who obviously have the money to pay the meter) the largest contingent of Memorial Park users are the joggers (who may or may not have the money) and I would bet most of them will be opting to go elsewhere (perhaps the bayou greenways). This makes the park more of an affluent amenity than what I believe they were intended … all citizens. I do fear that you are right about Herrman Park, although that park is generally more accessible by other means than car.
WR–We are talking $1 for 3 hours of parking. This is less than RT bus fare. I’ll be the first to complain if this turns into dynamic pricing, but at this rate, I really do not see a problem (even if all the parking becomes metered). Someone has to pay for the park’s upkeep, and our taxes seem not to be cutting it.
And to your point about neighborhood parks–YES! People should use them (and advocate for them). It’s not an either/or proposition.
The proposed parking fee is $1 per 3h. If you can afford a car to drive there, you can come up with $1 to park it.
Keep in mind that 75% of the parking spaces will still be free.
$1 for 3 hours is hardly extortionate, and I’m glad to see that most of the parking will still be free. It’s just maddening that this program will generate a few hundred thousands of dollars per year for maintenance vs the tens and tens of millions that are being invested in the park. Forgoing a couple million in upgrades would “pay” for enough free parking to last until the autonomous cars take over.
Fundamentally, paid parking as a means to manage scarcity is a service to drivers, but paid parking to raise revenue when there isn’t a scarcity issue just feels like a shakedown. Paid restrooms and water fountains next?
Why is it a shakedown? As noted by others there are other ways to get to the park besides driving and free places to park a car will still be provided. The reality is that it’s not free for the city or the conservancy to maintain infrastructure for cars. Parking spaces take up valuable real estate and they have to be lit, drained, and occasionally cleaned and striped. Why shouldn’t park visitors contribute to that? I drive a car to Memorial and I’d be glad to pay $1 every time I visit to help maintain it.
As Houston continues to not only grow, but get more dense, Houstonians are going to have to make a bit of a paradigm shift when it comes to parking in the city. For practically forever, we’ve considered being able to drive your car into the core parts of the city and then get free parking, (or very low cost), as practically a birth-right. Anything less is seen as problematic. It’s not how bigger cities tend to operate when it comes to parking, especially if they are denser, and we are headed that direction. That will include parks.
I’d rather pay an extra $20 a year in taxes on my house for park maintenance than feed meters at Memorial.
@ Shady Heightster: I’ll take the other side of that coin: I’d rather have the freedom to pay only when I use the park parking rather than have that $20 locked into my tax bill. Having it on your tax bill means you’re paying for it whether you use it or not. Paying per use is economically efficient.
I just got my HCAD iSettle reply from my property protest today and I’m happy to say I rolled back most of the proposed increase. No need for taxing authorities to decide how best to spend my money.
@ShadyHeightster I wonder how many other things the City could start charging for which you would shell out another $20 to avoid? With that kind of logic you’ll be bled dry pretty quickly.
BUT, with the property tax cap the City can’t just increase your taxes to cover these expenses, even if you wanted them to.
It’s only a dollar…for now. How can a golfer make it around in 3 hours? I foresee a lot of tickets being issued as the real money generator for the city.