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Downtown parking

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.

I didn’t realize that surface lots were that expensive. We paid $10 to park for the Astros game last week, but that’s a game-day thing, and parking for the game gets cheaper the farther west you go, which is to say the closer you get to the Downtown Entertainment District. And I know I’ve parked near Market Square for less than that. But whatever. Using parking garages is a fine idea, so kudos all around.

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One Comment

  1. Morgan says:

    is this idea that great? Only 18 bars, clubs, and restaurants participate. which ones? I read about this “great” parking plan and tried to take advantage of it only to find that the restaurant i went to, Azuma sushi restaurant, doesn’s participate.