San Marcos to start parking enforcement through license plate recognition downtown

The city of San Marcos will soon start enforcing parking downtown with the help of license plate recognition software.

The city of San Marcos will soon start enforcing parking downtown with the help of license plate recognition software.

The license plate-recognition software used to enforce parking time limits has arrived, and staff is nearly ready to begin implementation.

The city will stop chalking tires to monitor cars that exceed the two-hour time limits adopted in July and start using NuPark, a Cedar Park-based system that attaches license plate-scanning cameras to three city vehicles.

San Marcos is responding to concerns that were raised by the community—specifically downtown business owners and merchants–regarding the parking downtown, Economic Development and Downtown Coordinator Kevin Burke said.

“We can put up all the signs we want, but if we’re not enforcing it that doesn’t do us a whole lot of good,” he said.

The city is enforcing parking in several ways: By adding about 35 spaces downtown, by encouraging downtown property owners to make their off-street parking available for a price, and by considering adding a city-owned surface-level parking lot or a parking garage in the future.

Burke said he hopes to gather at least four months of analytical data from Nupark and then bring it to City Council.

“There is a shared sentiment among many stakeholders that a comprehensive parking management program, including paid parking, is in the best interest of the city,” he said in an email.

Burke said the enforcement will be a “soft rollout,” and during the first few days of implementation prior to March 1, warnings will be issued rather than citations.


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