Paid On-Street Parking Benefit District Talks Scheduled

Council workshop set for nov. 20

After adopting a Parking Management Framework plan in June, the San Marcos City Council will hear a presentation on downtown parking from City staff and the City’s parking consultant, Kimley-Horn, in the City Hall Conference Room on Tuesday, November 20th at 3PM.

The presentation will focus on the implementation of the first three action items from the Framework Plan, which would introduce paid on-street parking to a portion of downtown and create a benefit district to reinvest excess revenues from paid parking back into the downtown.

Presentation available for REVIEW ONLINE

The City has already posted the presentation and additional information to be shared with Council as part of the Council’s workshop agenda packet which may be viewed here.

The presentation shows that data assessed by Kimley-Horn demonstrated peak demand in the downtown area occurring at 1PM where 19 blocks within the area proposed for paid on-street parking had occupancy exceeding the targeted 85% occupancy rate. Data generated by SMPD’s use of the NuPark License Plate Recognition (LPR) enforcement system launched this year showed a violation rate (e.g., vehicles exceeding the 2-hour time limit) of 10%. According to the presentation, a target violation rate is typically 3 to 5%.

The draft phase 1 recommendations include: $1 per hour paid on-street parking Monday through Friday, 9AM to 6PM, from parts of San Antonio Street up to the Texas State University Campus, creation of off-street and on-street 10-hour zones to help accommodate employee parking until additional off-street parking resources are added, and use of Pay-by License Kiosks (in lieu of individual meters) with a Pay-by Cell mobile phone parking app for added convenience.

Kimley-Horn estimates the approximately investment in the meters to be paid back in about one year. Thereafter, the District is estimated to generate $350,000 - $400,000 each year in net revenue with a recommended 70% of the net revenue being invested back into the District. [Updated 12/2 to reflected revised information from the City.]

For governance, the draft presentation recommends a hybrid structure wherein the City will hire a Parking Manager, contract with a private parking management firm to run day-to-day operations, and form a five to seven person advisory board to manage parking district policy and have the authority to set paid hours, time limits, and rates — within a limited range — as well as make changes to ensure the District is meeting its objectives.

DTA parking subcomittee issued recommendations to staff

After reviewing the draft presentation and referencing the DTAs Parking Survey conducted this spring, the Downtown Association’s Parking Subcommittee met with and issued a letter to staff this past week supporting the creation of on-street paid parking subject to a number of recommendations, including:

  1. 100% of all excess net parking revenues generated in the District be spent solely within the District

  2. Downtown employees be supported during the transition with improvements to the free remote parking lot at the former Armory across from City Hall, free or reduced fare transit passes for downtown employees, and at least 50 on or off-street parking spaces being made available through the City at a reasonable monthly rate for downtown employers to purchase for use by their employees

  3. Flexibility in parking time limits be implemented by allowing up to three hours of parking (up from the current two hour maximum) with the last hour being available at an increased rate of $2 to encourage turnover

  4. Use of modern meter technology allowing for multiple payment options and efficient operations and maintenance

  5. A number of specifics regarding the District and Board structure including that the Downtown Association have a seat on the Board and that the District be charged with more holistic objectives around mobility and enhancement of the Downtown, such as:

    • Improve the availability of on-street parking for downtown customers and guests;

    • Expand off-street parking access for employees and downtown residents; and,

    • Fund infrastructure and programs that:

      • Promote walking, cycling, shared-use vehicles, and transit as the preferred forms of transportation within the District, and,

      • Enhance public spaces and rights-of-way in support of economic development for downtown businesses and improved quality of life for downtown residents

The Parking Subcommittee is made up of Suzanne Riley, Shea Enderle, Jean Baggett, Melissa Hodgkins, and John David Carson with additional guidance from other DTA members that have attended subcommittee meetings or provided input via email. The subcommittee’s full letter to staff can be found here.

Staff to present to DTA membership at Nov 26 member meeting

Staff will present the information directly to Downtown Association members at our upcoming Member meeting to be held Monday, November 26th at 6PM at Shine On Yoga.

The Council workshop on November 20th will not have a public hearing component, but will solely be for the presentation of the draft recommendations to Council for their initial questions.

Discussion and possible action on the formation of a Parking Management Fund, the hiring of a Parking Manager, and the creation of a Parking Advisory Board is currently scheduled for the December 4th council meeting. Consideration of the implementation of paid on-street parking was directed by Council to be postponed until the January 29, 2019 meeting. [Update 12/2 to reflect Council direction after the Nov. 20 workshop.]

Member input can always be sent to