The Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) announced Tuesday it has hired consultants to give the city parking and mobility solutions.
"There isn't a day that goes by that I don't get a complaint about the parking downtown," said DAA President and CEO Dewitt Peart.
Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates will work to create an inventory of how many parking spaces, both public and private, are downtown.
"This is not a study. This is essentially an implementation plan. So at the end the deliverable that we expect is to have a plan that we as a city as a region can follow," Peart said.
The problem with parking downtown is one reason mens' clothing store Keepers is closing. The company has been in business 21 years in Austin, 10 of them at their location on Congress Avenue.
"Apparently it's pretty common in the Downtown area that between the selling of buildings and the appreciated price with each sell the tax rate goes up and pretty soon you price out all the locals," said Managing Partner Chuck Haidet.
Haidet said business overall has been good, but the parking is a major roadblock.
"I think if you're not in the immediate downtown area you try to avoid it," said Haidet. "There's construction everywhere, road blocks, trouble parking for that matter and what parking there is is pretty expensive."
Wild About Music co-owner Shelley Meyer knows about that all too well. Her store is also on Congress Avenue, and she said the lack of parking not only keeps locals away but takes a toll on employees.
"Parking is like $175 a month if you want to buy a spot downtown and they're in high demand and they're being, you know, sold and re-sold and it's just almost impossible to get parking," Meyer said.
The plan will be ready in spring 2017. The consultants are hosting a community workshop 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 11 at the Google Fiber space, which is at 2nd and Colorado.