City Council reviews input on relieving Zilker Park parking problems

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — We all know the struggle of circling around and around, especially on a nice day like Friday, trying to find parking at Zilker Park.

“I just park at the first place I find, and we just walk,” said Mark Lynn who brings his family to the park twice a week. “We mainly come here during the week. We don’t even consider it on the weekends.” 

Many other regulars we talked to agreed. David Irby said he tries to avoid Zilker Park’s parking lots altogether.

“I wouldn’t even really try,” he said. “I just park at the other entrances on the trailhead and run in here.” 

Now, relief may be coming as city officials begin to review some recommendations made by the Zilker Park Working Group. 

The Austin City Council tasked the group last year to come up with suggestions that could help alleviate the park’s parking issue. The group recently posted its final recommendations on the city’s website. 

A recent survey on Zilker Neighborhood Association’s website found if people couldn’t drive to the park, most would walk, jog or bike, take a shuttle bus or use public transit.

Based on those results, the Zilker Park Working Group came up with some ideas that could help address the issue in the short-term. 

They want the city to enforce paid parking at peak times and have the #30 Cap Metro bus run every 15 minutes, instead of 35. 

They would also like the city to offer shuttle services from at least one, up to three, pick-up points throughout the city.

Some possible pick-up spots they suggested include: 

  • The Highland Mall area 
  • Camp Mabry
  • The new Cap Metro Westgate Transit Center
  • One Texas Center
  • Palmer Auditorium
  • The Convention Center

They said the shuttle system should run as a pilot program first. It suggests starting on Memorial Day weekend and running it through Labor Day weekend.

However, the Austin City Council will first need to give its green light before any of these short-term solutions can be implemented.

Capital Metro told KXAN each route’s frequency is determined based on ridership patterns, land uses and development, pedestrian infrastructure and demographics. 

In order to get a certain route’s frequency changed, the city would need to make a formal request. 

They said their staff “would assess the recommendation and make a recommendation to the Board of Directors who make the policy decisions regarding allocation of funding and resources.”

They went on to explain:“Capital Metro makes such changes three times per year, in January, June and August, and so if the board determined that this was an improvement to be made, it would be routed through the service change process just as would any other change of that type.”

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