Downtown Austin Parking Requirements May Be Eliminated…

Downtown Austin Parking Requirements May Be Eliminated…

…by the City of Austin.

Still, today’s market demands parking, and lenders will continue to require their businesses to deliver a minimum number of parking spaces.

It would be a symbolic and legal step forward though because minimum parking requirements have many negative effects, including:

  • Generate greater automobile usage and reduce use of transit and walking.
  • Increase building construction costs and make units less affordable.
  • Negatively affect the aesthetics of the built environment.
  • Perpetuate the inefficient use of available parking. (Currently many parking spaces in garages downtown sit empty throughout the day and night.)

“The city of Austin currently requires businesses to provide a certain number of parking spaces proportionate to the size of the business’s building. Multiple city commissions have expressed support for changing this requirement.

Colin Pope, editor of the Austin Business Journal, said that eliminating the requirement would be more of a symbolic move because developers would still provide parking to keep tenants happy.” – YNN

About Jude Galligan

Jude Galligan, REALTOR, Principal of TOWERS Realty and publisher of Downtown Austin Blog (aka. "DAB"), spends his time matching remarkable people with remarkable properties in Austin’s urban core. A resident owner in downtown Austin, Jude has served on the Board of the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) and the City of Austin Downtown Commission. Contact Jude.


  1. For what it’s worth, I’ll be nostalgic for Stokes Parking Garage (pictured above) if it ever disappears. I can’t be the only Austinite here that’s gone to the rowdy 4th of July parties on top of Stokes?

    Story time! Back in the day I used to hang with some pro skater types, and the routine every Tuesday night was this: get plastered at Dog & Duck, move the party down to Stokes, then spend the rest of the night goofing around and doing downhill races in the garage. These same skaters would literally mix and make concrete at Stokes so they could smooth out curbs and transitions in the garage. That’s dedication. In fact, I still have a scar on my leg from wiping out on a moped during one of those races. Good times, good times.

    • Yeah, Stokes used to have this amazing piece of street art probably from the same group: a stick figure falling on each floor. It was there for years and you could see it driving down Guadalupe. Then one day it was gone!

  2. The part many people miss about this is there’s a lot of plots downtown which are not large enough to support parking garages (mostly the very old buildings). Even mere changes of use in these buildings, without the elimination of this requirement, have sometimes required painful trips through the variance process. Even if that’s the ONLY benefit of this change, it’s still worth doing.

  3. Lance Hunter says

    That’s good news, but I guarantee all me friends who live outside the bikeable zone (Downtown, East Austin to about Airport, South Austin to about Oltorf) are going to grouse about this. Public transit has a lot of catching up to do and quick.

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