Parking passes will allow more people to park downtown

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POSTED: Friday, March 21, 2014 - 5:19pm

UPDATED: Saturday, March 22, 2014 - 10:41am

The City of Brownsville is aiming for 50 cents per hour as the appropriate rate for parking meters down.

But business owners and employees must remember to pay that fee every hour. That's why the city is encouraging them to pay $30 dollars a month for a parking pass in another surface lot a little ways from their business. 

"The ordinance passed at $30 a month, so if you really, if you divide it by 30 days in a month, it's a dollar day which is actually cheaper than what they're paying now at the meter," said Brownsville planning manager Ramiro Gonzalez.

But the parking passes would help out more than just those who work downtown.  

In addition to saving downtown business owners and employees money on the meter, the parking passes will allow a lot more space for customers to park on the street.

"W\hat research shows is that if you don't have parking availability on the street, and somebody wants to come and shop downtown, um, you know, they drive by, they don't see any parking, they're gonna leave, because they get- you know, they don't want to drive around for parking," said Gonzalez.

"Obviously, if all these store owners are not parking in front of their stores, all those customers would be more inclined to come downtown because 'oh look, parking's a lot easier," said Gigante store owner Daniel Hong.

And while in theory, the parking passes could provide more business downtown, Hong says there may be another cause for concern.

"My only concern is that maybe if they put us in a parking lot maybe they can hire a security guard. If they're gonna be charging $30 an hour, why not just make it $35 and just hire somebody to look after the cars because I'm sure the main reason why people want to park in front of their stores is mainly for the security of their own cars," said Hong.

City officials insist that the payout will ultimately be worth it though, when it helps out the local economy.

"Ideally you would, you would see more retail activity more sales because one of the number one complaints about downtown and why people don't come downtown during the day is because there's no parking." 

Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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