San Marcos City Council working toward downtown parking solutions

San Marcos City Council approved changes to downtown parking June 20.

San Marcos City Council approved changes to downtown parking June 20.

San Marcos City Council directed staff on Tuesday night to move forward with four changes to the city’s downtown parking plans.

The changes will be brought to council in the form of ordinances, likely by May.

“The demand for downtown parking has just exploded, and we don’t really have any more parking spaces downtown,” Council Member Jane Hughson said.

The changes include:

  • Implementing license-plate reading technology. The technology will help police better track how long cars have been parked in a space downtown.

  • Enforcing a two-hour time limit on all parking spaces west of the Union Pacific Corp. railroad tracks that cross Guadalupe Street and LBJ Drive. Many spaces throughout downtown are already subject to a two-hour limit, but enforcement has been lax, officials said. The time limit will be enforced from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

  • Implementing a downtown employee parking program. Council members discussed the possibility of utilizing a remote parking lot with shuttle service to take downtown employees to work. Council Member Lisa Prewitt said she has spoken with companies that provide shuttle services, and the cost of a program similar to what the city is considering could be about $110,000 per year. Kevin Burke, who is heading up the downtown parking project, said specific details of how the employee parking program would work will be brought back to council by May.

  • Identify additional parking space downtown. Burke estimated the city could create an additional 40 new on-street parking spaces throughout downtown.

Travis Kelsey and Kyle Mylius, two downtown business owners, spoke in support of an employee parking program.

Kelsey, who owns the Tap Room, said downtown businesses could not “compete with parking,” citing restaurants and businesses that have opened on I-35 in the city in recent years.

“We have a crisis downtown,” Kelsey said. “Local businesses, downtown people, we run on small margins. Any hit is hard for us to stay up. We’re not Torchy’s Tacos. These are your mom and pops. These people live in your community, raise families and pay taxes here.”

Mylius said his three downtown businesses, including the Root Cellar Café, Root Cellar Bakery and Rhea’s Ice Cream, employ 50 people. Many of the parking spots downtown, which employees at downtown businesses need to use, are utilized by university students, he said.

Mylius said the license-plate reading technology, which will help increase enforcement of two-hour time limits, and the employee-parking program could provide a solution to the area’s parking issues.

“If we can provide a comprehensive employee solution in addition to the increase enforcement, I believe you will see an unbelievable amount of parking open up over night,” Mylius said. “But you cannot have one without the other, however. Without the employee solution the LPR enforcement will make many downtown businesses like my own literally unstaffable.”


A new development will be coming to east Kyle. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
New development will bring homes, shops and an elementary school to east Kyle

A new development on 318 acres of land is coming soon to Kyle.

Kyle City Council voted 6-1 and approved the new citywide trail master plan that will utilize 2020 bond election funds for trails that will help connect Austin to San Antonio. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI Nation roundup: Perfect Game coming to Cedar Park; Kyle City Council approves trail master plan to connect Austin to San Antonio and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Sept. 24.

Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said Sept. 23 though the district has been awarded emergency funding, it has only had access to a fraction of it. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD superintendent lays out barriers to receiving emergency funding

Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said while it seems that the district has received "millions and millions," it has been able to use a fraction of granted emergency funds.

Wayback Burgers specializes in cooked-to-order burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. (Courtesy Wayback Burgers)
Wayback Burgers coming to Leander; former Round Rock Steak N' Shake to become Whataburger and more top Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reports that the total number of Hays County residents 12 years old and up with at least one vaccine dose rose to 72.72%, and 62.13% of residents are fully vaccinated. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Hays County reports 1 COVID-related fatality Sept. 23

The county also saw 71 newly confirmed cases and 44 people are currently hospitalized.

Glow Laser and Beauty relocated into a larger space in September. (Courtesy Glow Laser and Beauty).
Glow Laser and Beauty relocates into a bigger space in Buda

Glow Laser and Beauty has relocated and expanded into a larger space

Several parents of New Caney ISD students spoke at the district's Sept. 20 board meetings about recent allegations that a student brought a firearm to Porter High School's Sept. 18 homecoming dance. NCISD Superintendent Matt Calvert stressed that no gunshots were fired at the event, and that the district is investigating the allegations. (Wesley Gardner/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI Nation roundup: Round Rock ISD trustees considered for censuring; New Caney ISD addresses allegations of student with gun at campus event and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Sept. 23.

The Austin metropolitan statistical area surpasses COVID-19 pandemic job losses. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin regains all pandemic job loss, San Antonio nearly misses top 10 best performing metros in the country

The Austin and San Antonio metropolitan statistical areas continue their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.