AUSTIN (KXAN) — There is about a month and a half left to park for free in the heart of South Congress before those free street parking spots become metered spots.
KXAN Traffic Anchor Erica Brennes reports on the end of the free parking era on SoCo.
“I had no idea that was happening. I think that’s terrible. You have to pay for everything now in this town,” said Austin resident Chase Myers.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone on SoCo thrilled to hear there will no longer be free parking on South Congress, including visitor Nicia Adebanjo, “I had to pay $15 to park for literally 15 minutes. That’s annoying.”
We’re talking about the spots currently free between Riverside Drive and Oltorf Street.
The pricing would vary based on the length of time you need to stay.
To make your life easier, the city recommended downloading the Park ATX App.
“This is actually a fully digital area. So we actually won’t see those pay stations on the street that you normally see downtown, you’ll have to use the park ATX app, in order to be able to pay for parking in the area. Or if you don’t have a smartphone, you can actually text to pay,” says Joseph Al-hajeri with the Austin Transportation Department.
It’s not just on Congress. Cross streets in the neighborhood would also get metered spots.
In total, 2,100 once-free parking spots would become paid, or commercial zones, pick up and drop off zones, or hybrid resident spots.
“In the long run, we want to ensure that we create opportunities for everybody user space, right and really when you have a very popular area that has high demand,” says Al-hajeri.
But those who enjoy SoCo don’t worry the price will keep visitors away.
“No it won’t it will just be another headache, right,” says Myers.
Over the next four weeks, you’ll start to see the permanent signage about the metered parking, there will then be a two-week grace period before they become active.
The city said people would likely have to start paying by the end of October.