Parking meter extended hours proposal withdrawn

Probably dead, though I suppose it could come back.

Proposals to make it easier to extend parking meter enforcement hours and install speed cushions did not advance at Houston’s inaugural Proposition A committee meeting Tuesday, after both failed to meet the quorum requirement for voting.

Council Member Edward Pollard, who introduced both proposals, said he wants to indefinitely table the parking meter item, but continue to pursue the speed cushion item because of its importance to his constituents.

He said he would rather council members tag items brought under Proposition A, which allows any three members to put an item on the agenda, in weekly council meetings than send them to languish in committee.

“At no point in time do I believe going through a made-up committee is reaching the intention of the voters,” Pollard told the Chronicle Tuesday.

The committee meeting, he said, was a way for Mayor John Whitmire’s administration to control the process of bringing items forward under Proposition A. Whitmire says he created the committee to help vet Proposition A proposals, but critics say committee process leads to unnecessary red tape and may go against the spirit of the historic city charter change.


When Pollard’s parking meter proposal was introduced in committee, his office pulled the agenda item and said he had not decided not to pursue it any further. Pollard chose not to attend, citing his general disbelief in the committee process.

As the city faces a projected $230 million to $280 million budget deficit, Pollard said he pushed the proposal, which would have extended metered hours from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Monday through Saturday, as a way to potentially create more revenue for the city.

Maria Irshad, deputy director of ParkHouston, told the committee the proposal would have generated about $1.4 million to $2.4 million in revenue for the city.

See here and here for more on the parking meter proposal, and here, here, and here for more on the Prop A committee. The speed bump proposal (sorry, I refuse to call them “speed cushions”; I’ve come around on their utility but they’re still suspension-busting nuisances) is still in play and I think deserves more attention, but I’ll leave that for another time. As I said before, I appreciate that CM Pollard has been thinking about more ways to generate revenue for the city, which it needs now more than ever. Earlier stories mentioned a higher estimate for this proposal, but those may have been optimistic projections from CM Pollard. The point about needing more revenue still stands, and even if this would only generate a relative pittance, it was still worth considering. Let’s not end that kind of thinking here.

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