Aug 10, 2022 - News

Private property creeps into Austin's public roadways

A residential parking permit sign stands sentinel on a street off South Congress. Photo: Asher Price/Axios

Austinites have increasingly claimed ownership of the public parking spots in front of their properties.

The big picture: This year marks the 25th anniversary of Austin's residential permit parking program — y'know, those signs that mark off parking for residents only — but nearly 75% of the specially designated blocks were approved in the decade leading up to the pandemic, per city data obtained by Axios.

How it works: Residents of a block that requires permit parking essentially are taxing themselves — permits start at $20 — to limit parking in front of their homes.

  • In busy areas of the city, some residents say they need to secure curbside spots to carry groceries into their homes — or because they're infirm and need easy access.

By the numbers: ​​At least 383 total blocks have been designated residential permit parking since the program began in 1997.

  • 276 of those blocks were added between 2010 and 2020.
  • The city largely put the program on hold after COVID-19 struck, but is now taking up applications again.

What they're saying: The program is "designed to provide residents with a better quality of life in their neighborhoods," per the city's website.

Yes, but: Apparently "residents" means you must live on that block — even though all Austinites pay city taxes to maintain public roadways.

📢 Sound off: Are you in favor of residential permit parking, or opposed to it?


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