More Parking Downtown?

More Parking Downtown?
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 8:28pm

EL PASO- It's not easy to find parking in downtown El Paso.  But a new city proposal might make your trip down Main Street a bit easier from now on.

Each time we come downtown for a story, we park our NewsChannel 9 truck in a row of spots for media vehicles only.

But the Department of Transportation wants to place meters there and at almost every other reserved parking space downtown.

Start with police.  Some spaces outside of the County Jail set aside for patrol cars, no more. 

Head across the street to the county court house.  Cushy spots reserved for District Judges would become public spaces, for a small fee of course.

"We're looking at trying to influence folks to come downtown.  Make it as easy as we can for folks to come into the downtown area," said Daryl Cole, Director of the Department of Transportation.

So the city wants to add more metered parking, where specific people are in the habit of parking right now.

Large sections of reserved parking would be converted into metered parking, and give you a better chance to find a space when you come downtown.

"Create a turnover if you will, two-hour parking, three-hour parking in these areas," said Cole of the changes.

It's part of the city's plan to revitalize downtown, and attract people to Main Street for more than just a court date.

"Make it convenient for folks to come into the downtown area and park, just generally park," Cole said.

So if parking's easier, maybe you come downtown, find a quick spot, step up to the meter, and you don't have any change.

Don't worry, there's a solution.  Just use plastic.

"Electronic type readers, credit cards, maybe using electronics such as a phone to get to those things," Cole said of planned improvements to parking meters.

More spaces.  More ways to pay.

The D.O.T. will present it's proposal to a legislative review committee in the next week.  It goes to the full city council a few weeks after that.

So for now, we're safe to park our live truck in its designated spot.  But sooner or later, we might have to start feeding the meter.

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