Area too popular for its own good?

August 27, 2009 5:16:31 PM PDT
It's an area of Houston that's developing fast, but for people who live and work along parts of Washington Avenue, the explosion of development is coming with some serious growing pains.Several night clubs, bars and restaurants have set up shop between Westcott and Leverkuhn, making for a parking nightmare at certain times of the day and night. Now city leaders are trying to strike a balance between growth and a lack of space.

The Washington corridor is one of Houston's newest hot spots.

"It's a lot of fun," said resident Monica Fiasconaro. "There's a lot of new bars that consistently just keep opening up."

The fun is often dimmed by a big problem.

"It's horrible," said Adam Taylor, who works in the area as a delivery man. "You have all the cars parked on both sides of Washington."

Restricted parking hampers Taylor from doing his job, especially at night.

He said, "If you park on a side street, you're going to get towed. It's been like that and it's getting worse day by day."

It's even worse for people like Stephonne Smith who live in this area and don't want bar patrons seizing their spots.

"If you can't get something in the street or back here (in a parking lot), it's pretty difficult," Smith said.

Blocks away, Texadelphia shut its doors. They told customers in an email the closure was due to a lack of sufficient parking.

Houston councilman Ed Gonzalez says he wants to see this slice of Houston thrive and is in weekly talks to come up with solutions.

"Perhaps metered parking to increase certain areas where patrons can maybe park," Gonzalez said.

Other ideas like a parking garage, he says, are too tough to fund. With even more bars going up on Washington, Taylor wants relief soon.

"If not, you're going to be walking for a while just trying to get to your destination," he said.

Some of the neighborhood streets are already residential-only parking, which leads to a towing problem.

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