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Currently downown Austin has very few signs directing people to available parking garages and surface lots. Most people do not realize that on busy evenings, more than 40% of the spaces in garages and surface lots sits unused in downtown...not in the busiest areas...but still in the core of downtown. Why? People do not necessarily know where to park and there are very few signs that easily identify public parking. The city needs to have a comprehensive wayfinding (directional signs) system that tells people where parking is located and how many spots are available in real time.  

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Craig McGreggor over 6 years ago

Sounds like a interesting idea!  It could be expensive, but it'd push people to use those lots which could fun the service itself.  Perhaps charge parking lots and small tax or charge.  Hell make an APP for it!

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COA Transportation admin over 6 years ago

Thank you both for your comments and great ideas. The City ofAustin recently completed  installing the signage you have recommended. Over 40  parking signs  have been placed in the downtown area to help direct drivers to additional off-street parking spaces quickly. These signs will be in place as the City proceeds with a larger scale permanent “wayfinding” system. Future signage will also include electronic message boards that will provide real-time parking facility information on rates and available parking spaces, as well as road closure and detour information during special events.

In conjunction with this effort, the City recently produced a downtown map highlighting area parking facilities and is working to create a prototype Smartphone application using this map so that drivers may search for parking spaces in their desired area. The static map can currently be viewed on the City’s website at: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/transportation/downloads/cbd_parking_supply_by_address_11x17_012011.pdf

With the rollout of the full wayfinding system, the City will be looking to the private sector to publicize parking data and availability in real time.

The future more enhanced wayfinding system will be paid for using a portion of revenue generated from the extended hours from the parking meters. The interim wayfinding system is being paid for out of current parking meter revenue.

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