Transportation

Houston Is Trying Out Rideshare Parking Zones

Six zones have been established downtown and officials are also looking at other areas with lots of clubs and restaurants.

In an effort to cut down on the traffic congestion that’s caused when rideshares mix with private vehicles on busy downtown evenings, Houston is testing rideshare parking zones.

“We’re really getting challenged for the demand for the curbside and we’ve got to think of more creative ways and better ways of getting goods and people around cities,” Houston Assistant Parking Director Maria Irshad told News 88.7. “Single-occupancy vehicle parking is not necessarily always the way.”

To keep things moving, Irshad said they’re now trying out six new ride zones similar to what you see at Houston’s airports.

“We worked with the rideshare companies to geo-fence a portion of downtown,” said Irshad. “We’re looking primarily at the historic district and Main Street where we’ve got parking challenges and we have an active nightlight. We know that the rideshare companies are doing a lot of pickup and drop-off there.”

Those downtown ride zones are parking spots that are used during the day by delivery vehicles. Irshad said that when people nearby call for an Uber or Lyft, they’re directed to one of those zones by their app.

“If a rideshare is just dropping off anywhere or picking up anywhere, you have people going into the road, coming out of the road,” said Irshad. “They’re going to create congestion if they just stop anywhere.”

And Irshad said she hopes the city will gain valuable insights during the current pilot program.

“One thing we definitely are going to have to be prepared for is an expansion of rideshare zones,” said Irshad. “So while we only have six right now we’re definitely going to have to look at doing that throughout other parts of the city.”

Some of the areas being considered for ride zones include Midtown, EaDo, Montrose and the Washington Avenue corridor.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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