BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — Parking is always a crunch in Austin and that headache is spreading to nearby cities experiencing their own growth. The City of Buda is working on its first-ever Parking Action Plan. City council just adopted the plan that will serve as the guide for the growing city.
Just in the last decade, the city has exploded in population by 151%. The plan offers short, mid and long-term recommendations for parking that will grow and change with the city.
First, the city is focusing on downtown. Right now, the plan is just made up of recommendations to improve daily and special event parking around Buda. These are recommendations following a survey that generated around 200 responses with the majority of those commenting being from out of town. What they found was people wanted to see limited-time parking to get people in and out and moving.
Those behind the plan at Dixon Resources Unlimited, a consulting firm that focuses on transportation programs, say their number one recommendation is starting with the locals; for example, they would work holistically to get business owners and employees to pitch in by parking elsewhere and leave the main street parking open for visitors.
“There’s an opportunity to get that buy-in and to get that voluntary compliance but the key is that we want to make sure holistically that everybody is going along with it so that we can see that just because one neighbor is participating if the neighbor right next door is taking up those parking spaces in those businesses it’s kind of for not,” said Julie Dixon, the president and founder of Dixon Resources Unlimited.
Buda City Manager Kenneth Williams says they have seen an influx of visitors this year. For the first time ever, they’ve had three months this year where sales tax revenue topped a million dollars each. This happened in May, August and November according to the city’s Finance Department.
“People are playing and shopping here in town and as far as tourism our hotel and sales tax situation has steadily increased. Even during the pandemic,” Williams said.
At present, the city is working on implementing wayfinding signs around downtown — these are signs that let drivers know where they can find additional parking in the area.