City of Austin to implement paid parking on South Congress Avenue
In a bid to address parking availability and turnover issues along one of Austin's most iconic streets, the City of Austin began the process of implementing paid parking along South Congress Avenue on September 11. This is the second time in six months that Austin has seen a parking rate increase in a high-traffic destination.
According to the city's website, sign crews will spend the month of September installing paid parking signs, then focus on converting neighborhood streets. The rollout of the first phase of paid parking is tentatively planned for October.
It is not stated exactly how much the rates will be, but they will likely follow the City's standard pricing structure that also applies to areas like downtown and East Austin: $2 per hour for the first two hours, and more as the parking period grows longer.
"This strategy aims to create more parking space turnover in a high-demand district with more consistent enforcement," the website says.
Additionally, the City says paying for parking will be a "fully digital experience," and there will be no physical pay stations on the street. Visitors will have to download the Park ATX app in order to pay, or send a text to a designated phone number.
Paid parking on South Congress will be enforced from 8 am to midnight Mondays through Saturdays, and on Sundays from 1 pm to midnight.
Residents who live in the South Congress area can continue to park for free, as long as they register their vehicles and use visitor hang tags or daily passes. Once the rollout is complete, residential streets will be open for paid public parking from 8 am to 6 pm Mondays through Saturdays, and on Sundays from 1 pm to 6 pm. Parking is for residents or visitor permit-holders only outside of those hours.
A September 11 Austin Mobility newsletter states that once the paid parking implementation is complete, Austin parking enforcement will issue warnings to drivers parking along South Congress and adjacent streets for the first two weeks before issuing citations.
The city's website says all parking funds collected will be used for "infrastructure improvements" in the area.