Changes to the Austin City Hall parking garage are in the works.
Not only will the garage entrance and exit switch sides, but the city of Austin Transportation Department has also proposed parking fee changes.
“These changes will improve operations of the parking facility and increase accessibility of parking to city of Austin customers as well as visitors, residents and employees,”said Robert Spillar, Transportation Department director, in the memo. “These improvements are also anticipated to reduce congestion associated with garage access.”
The city will replace or relocate gates, signage, markings, access technology and pay stations throughout occur in July in an effort to change the parking garage’s entrance from Lavaca Street to Guadalupe Street, according to a city memo. Cars will then exit the garage using Lavaca Street instead of Guadalupe Street. The changes will be complete by July 26, according to the memo.
“Requiring people to exit the garage onto Lavaca Street instead of Guadalupe Street is anticipated to alleviate some of the congestion occurring within the garage during the afternoon peak travel period,” Spillar said in the memo. “According to vehicle volume counts taken by the Austin Transportation Department, there 2,000 fewer vehicles traveling on Lavaca than Guadalupe each weekday between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.”
Parking fees for the garage will increase July 1, according to the memo.
Fees will still be at or below the market rate and will not apply to people visiting City Hall for business purposes, such as attending Austin City Council meetings.
Customers of Second Street businesses will still be able to validate parking for two or more hours; however, the flat rate will increase from $5 to $7.
Whether city staff will continue to have a separate parking area is currently undecided, said Samantha Alexander, Transportation Department spokesperson.