Still Circling The Block? Downtown Parking Initiative Underway

May 31, 2016 by Kate Harrington

Traffic congestion isn’t the only vehicle-related challenge facing Austin; in the downtown area, parking is also an area of concern for many businesses.

With that in mind, the Downtown Austin Alliance has contracted with transportation consulting firm Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates to take on a comprehensive downtown parking study with the goal of determining how much parking currently exists downtown, how it’s being used during the day, and what future needs will be.

A big part of the 10-month study will be input from stakeholders who use downtown parking: retailers, residents, office tenants, and businesses.

The project will also include an inventory of existing downtown parking, including on and off-street parking, as well as a study of how parking is used at different times during the day in each downtown district.


In order to project future parking demand, Nelson\Nygaard will analyze future development of downtown with two different parking demand scenarios “based on different applications of travel behavior, mode split, and transportation demand programs,” the DAA says.

Should TDM initiatives like the City’s Austin Don’t Rush Day take off, parking needs could look much different than a business-as-usual scenario. Developers may also play a role in shaping how parking is perceived and used, as projects like the car-free Avenue proposed for Congress Ave. take shape.

Once the study wraps up, the organization will develop a strategic implementation plan to address deficiencies, maximize existing parking, and adequately plan for future needs.

The project will continue through May 2017. The image below shows a detailed timeline of the project’s milestones:


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Written by Kate Harrington

Kate is a former reporter, most recently for the Austin Business Journal, where she covered real estate, economic development and transportation. Since 2010 she has been running Thumbtack Communications. Thumbtack provides writing, editing and marketing services. Before moving to Austin in 2002 Kate lived in her native New England, which she still visits often to escape the Texas heat.