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City Council Approves Metered Parking in Downtown Amarillo

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) - The City of Amarillo said as downtown continues to develop, dealing with parking availability is a top priority.

That is why tonight the city council voted unanimously to approve parking services deal with Parkmobile LLC. for metered parking in downtown.

The city said it is part of a larger plan to meet parking needs in downtown. 

"The downtown parking management plan was part of the 2010 and 2013 study that Downtown Amarillo Inc. and the city collaborated on that talked about having metered parking in the future once we have all the catalyst projects as far as the parking garage, the hotel, and the MPEV," said Director of Planning and Development Services, Andrew Freeman.

Freeman said there are still details to iron out during the coming months, but it will not look like old-fashioned metered parking. 

The system is cloud-based, so drivers can use an app to pay or call in and coordinate payment. 

Most likely, drivers will start paying an estimated $1 to a $1.50 for parking by January.

Parkmobile LLC. will get 25 cents per transaction, while the city uses generated revenue to support other projects. 

"One, to pay the debt service on the parking garage, but also to create revenue to provide for future parking needs, so this will be an integrated program that one, takes care of our investments we've made so far, but also investments we know we'll need to make at some point in the future," said City Manager Jared Miller.

While not everyone is excited about paying for parking, Freeman told us it could be good for businesses downtown.

"It also has other benefits as far as short turnover. One, two-hour turnover to keep customers coming for these retail stores. We're still reviewing different options. The original plan was basically a three-block radius around the parking garage, so it'd go up to 3rd Street, south to 10th, west a portion of Taylor, and then east to Johnson. So basically surrounding the hotel and the MPEV," said Freeman.

Freeman told us drivers can expect to see a trial period from January through April to get acclimated to the rules and changes.

He said revenue will also be used for parking enforcement officers, maintenance of downtown streets, and signage.

There will be further city council meetings to discuss pricing and the scope of the metered parking zone in the coming weeks.

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