This makes so much sense it's hard to believe no one had thought of it before.
[T]he Downtown Entertainment District Alliance, which includes downtown merchants, has come up with a parking alternative aimed at eliminating parking woes: Those going to restaurants and clubs can now park free, with validation, at the JPMorgan Chase Center garage and Market Square Garage. "It's a win-win situation all around," said Bob Eury, president of Central Houston.
"It's a way to promote more convenient parking and promote downtown establishments that need more business."
The program takes advantage of an underutilized evening resource: parking garages.
"Now you know where to go and what to expect. It's like having two beacons," said Joe Martin, owner of El Centro and M Bar and a member of the alliance's board.
Parking lots in prime locations have been charging from $10 to $30 on weekend nights, he said, and there is gridlock caused by drivers waiting to get into lots.
Using the validated parking program, on Friday and Saturday nights from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., drivers can park at the Chase or Market Square garages for $5. Eighteen bars, clubs and restaurants will credit a person's bill with the $5 fee.