The resurgence of the Washington Corridor near downtown with bars and restaurants has resulted in a traffic nightmare to residents who live in the area. District C Council member Ellen Cohen says the city has been working with business owners to come up with a plan to test having parking meters,not only better regulate the constant influx of traffic, but:
"To deal with the issues of parking, increased crime, of safety, and neighbors live several streets off, and they walk in the evenings to restaurants and other services there. It's a great place, but we want to make sure that it works, and so we're gonna give it an 18 month trial and see how it goes."
Mayor Annise Parker says contrary to some belief, they're not creating an entertainment district.
"We're trying to create a tool, so we can better manage the intersection between the businesses and the neighborhoods, and the public that needs to travel these major thoroughfares. I do hope that taking some of the lessons learned from creation of this parking benefit district will have 18 months to prove itself. We are not trying to create a one-size-fits-all model of this is what a parking benefit district looks like."
Jane West is president of the Washington Avenue Coalition. She says money generated from parking meters will go to things like more sidewalks, better lighting and overall improved safety.
"This is a rare example of where members of our residential community, our business community and our development community have come together in a consensus opinion, for a proposal before city council. We're disappointed that is wasn't vote on this week, but we anticipate a favorable vote next week."
Council members will vote on the ordinance next week.