Midtown parking proposal could reshape Houston hot spot, officials say

Here's what we know

HOUSTON – If you spend any time in Midtown, you know parking can be a real problem. But that could all be changing very soon.

With all of its restaurants, bars, parks and art galleries, finding street parking in Midtown, on weekends especially, can be mind-numbing.

People often cruise around looking for a spot, which causes traffic congestion and creates safety concerns.

“It’s horrible. It’s horrible,” said. James Thibodeaux.

Park Houston, which is responsible for on-street parking in the city, and the Midtown Management District are working together to cut down on the cruising during peak parking hours.

One proposal calls for setting up a parking benefits district. It would take 60% of the meter money that’s generated from 6 pm until midnight and make it available to the management district for projects that benefit safety, mobility and access, including crosswalk improvements, fixing sidewalks, and additional bike racks.

“We provide a lot of supplemental public safety patrols. Those are the types of programs that will be eligible for this funding,” said James Llamas, Midtown Management District Board Member.

Llamas said the additional revenue is there since the city approved extending meter hours last summer.

Llamas added that making sure it serves the best interest of the community is imperative.

In addition to sitting on the district’s board and chairing its urban planning committee, he is also a homeowner.

“The committee that decides how the funding is going to be allocated to projects will be made up of residents, business owners and other stakeholders in the district,” Llamas said.

Board members are expected to take their proposal to the city council next month.

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