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Washington Avenue Corridor’s Parking Congestion Soon To See Relief

CICELY MITCHELL, CBS Houston
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(Photo Credit: City of Houston-by Parking Management)

(Photo Credit: City of Houston-by Parking Management)

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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) It’s taken months of preparation and planning but it’s here. According to Houston city officials, Houston’s first Parking Benefit District (PBD) along the Washington Avenue Corridor is slated to take effect on May 1, 2013.

“Parking meters along the Corridor will begin operating every Monday through Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.”, added Houston city officials.

The Washington Corridor PBD, which is bounded by Houston Avenue, Center Boulevard, Lillian Street/Decatur Street and Westcott Street, was approved by Houston’s City Council members back in December of last year.
Don Pagel, Deputy Director for the City of Houston’s Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department feels that the PBD is a step forward for Houston as the city works tirelessly to deal with city parking and parking availability issues: “This is a huge step in the right direction for the City of Houston,” said. “With hundreds of people moving into Houston each day, parking will continue to get worse and worse over time. We are glad to be one of the first, and certainly the largest, cities to adopt such an innovative strategy to reduce parking congestion and generate new revenues for the community,” Pagel stated.

“A PBD is a defined area, typically along commercial corridors, in which a portion of the revenue generated from parking meters is returned to the district to finance community projects. One-hundred percent of such payments to meters elsewhere in the City are subject to transfer into Houston’s General Fund. However, in the Washington Avenue PBD, approximately 60 percent of the revenue from the paid parking spaces along the PBD will return to the district where it will fund neighborhood projects such as landscaping, street maintenance, public safety, lighting, sidewalk and pedestrian improvements, and more. The remaining 40 percent will go to a fund that offsets the district’s expenses,” added officials.
An advisory committee will work together to decide how the revenue is use, based on community feedback during public meetings. The committee, appointed by Houston’s mayor Annise Parker, is comprised of seven people who live or work in the district, according to Houston city officials.

In an effort to meet the demands of traffic, parking management and parking issues within the city of Houston, the PBD will work to manage the Corridor’s supply and demand of adequate parking to ensure convenience and ease for drivers in one of Houston’s busiest corridors. “Houston’s PBD plan also includes the designation of permit parking areas for residents and business owners of the corridor. Permit parking is effective Thursday – Sunday, 6 p.m. – 2 a.m.”, stated Houston city officials.

“This Parking Benefit District is a trial run,” added Pagel. “We will constantly look at what works and what doesn’t and then decide whether or not this type of project is something that should be implemented all over Houston’s community.” Click here to learn more.

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