Park, pay and walk away
New City of Austin program wants to stick it to pesky parking stickers
Through a new pilot program, the City of Austin is sticking it to those annoying parking stickers. The Austin Transportation Department said in a May 31 release that it’s testing a new parking system that does away with those little square stickers.
The new program still lets motorists use pay stations, but instead of printing out a receipt that you then must stick to the inside of your windshield, the station will prompt you to enter your vehicle’s license plate number. With that, you’re done — no parking sticker required.
The pilot program is taking place in a small area of Austin near Lady Bird Lake’s Butler Shores. Certain pay stations on Jessie Street, Butler Road, Toomey Road, Josephine Street, Sterzing Street, Barton Springs Road, and Lee Barton Drive are part of the test. Austin Transportation will post signs near the affected pay stations to inform motorists about the no-sticker option.
The sticker-free parking system works by tracking a vehicle’s license plate number and the amount of parking time purchased rather than relying on a timestamped stick-on-your-windshield receipt spit out by a pay station.
Parking enforcement officers will check license plate numbers against the system’s database to catch offenders. Austin Transportation says the system won’t store personal data tied to license plate numbers.
The test is expected to last about three months. After that, Austin Transportation will decide whether to expand the no-sticker parking program.
Users of Park ATX, the City of Austin’s pay-by-phone app, still will be able to use the app to pay for parking.