Night out in Midtown could get expensive with new parking rule proposal

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A night out in Midtown may get a little more expensive soon.

ParkHouston is proposing changes that will cut down on congestion and raise money for public projects.

Currently in Midtown, most street parking is free after 6 p.m., but the proposals would require people to pay until midnight. They would also add more metered spots along Caroline Street.

Not only does this impact visitors, but residents as well. People who live in the area could buy yearlong permits for about $30 to get around the new parking rules.

People like to hit the streets in Midtown for the bars and businesses, but they have to compete for a limited number of parking spots first.

"It's pretty bad here on the weekends. When people are coming out, it's always bad," said Midtown resident Phi Nguyen.

The city of Houston is aware of the fact there are not a lot of places to park at night in Midtown. Part of their idea to create a Parking Benefit District that makes street parking more expensive is to encourage people to rideshare or carpool.

"We just need a nice balance, I guess, between revenue, and charging us additional money for coming out and having a great time, and giving revenue to local bars and businesses in the area," said Maddy Subra, who often goes to Midtown.

ABC13's coverage partners at the Houston Chronicle reported that the extra money at the meters would go toward things like public art projects or additional bike racks.

"Me and my girlfriend share a car right now. When she wants to get around and doesn't feel like walking, an extra bike rack, or two, would be pretty nice as well," Nguyen said.

If Houston City Council approves the parking proposals, people could notice the changes by early 2022.

"If you're planning to just come out and have a good night and have one or two drinks then go home and get ready for work the next day, I think it's something we should definitely approve of," said Kelly Franks, a frequent Midtown visitor.
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