Parking changes considered for south Austin neighborhoods

If you choose not to rideshare and drive to the city's next big festival, you could face new parking regulations.

A new plan under review by Austin City Council could stiffen penalties for festival-goers who park illegally in the Zilker, Barton Hills and Bouldin Creek neighborhoods.

It's a problem that's been going on for decades in those neighborhoods, and now city leaders are taking steps that could possibly prevent disaster.

"The streets get parked up on both sides and there is only one lane of traffic," said David King. "So if you have two cars coming you couldn't get down those streets you have to back out."

King says during ACL, SXSW and the Trail of Lights, many drivers don't comply with temporary no-parking signs.

As the co-chair of the now-dissolved Parkland Events Task Force, he's helping the city kick off a more permanent solution.

The group's recommendations to City Council included increasing a parking ticket from $20 to $250. That fine would be lowered if a driver pays quickly.

"That way it wouldn't hurt so much but it would still send the message that we're serious about this," King said.

During the festivals, towing would be enforced after a grace period, and there would also be permanent signs that warn permits are needed during special events.

Despite costing over $90,000, King says that would actually be cheaper for the city, and therefore, all of us.

"The city co-sponsors these events so from a taxpayer's perspective I think it's good to look at this model as being less expensive and more effective," he added.

The real sticking point that's been driving this conversation, King says, is that emergency vehicles may have issues getting to someone in need.

Dondi Krauszer has seen it first hand without the crowds in town.

She sees everyday traffic as more of a burden than festival parking, but because this discussion comes up quite often, she's looking forward to a resolution.

"Either let's do something about it and get it rectified, whatever that means, or let's just understand this is what it is and just let it be," Krauszer said.

King says a public meeting should be arranged next week and City Council should have the item on their agenda by the end of June.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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