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City working on updating downtown parking

A suggestion that was recently passed by council is a downtown parking app that will allow users to pay for parking and will help identify available meters.
Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 10:16 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - It’s been two years in the making but changes are coming our way.

In 2019, the traffic department did a study and now with those results on hand, we explain the changes we’ll be seeing in the downtown area and what business owners think of them.

The City of Laredo downtown parking study was completed in 2019 and offered up roughly 10 suggestions on ways to improve the parking experience.

One is an increase to the parking meter fee which was once 50 cents but is now a $1.25.

The increase went into effect in 2019 and it’s something that shop owners tell us is bad for business.

”It’s very expensive now,” said Sainter Kumar. “They increase the price but don’t do nothing for the city. Nothing to do for the businessman or business people. You look around 80%, 90% of business closed.”

Aside from that, the perfume store owner says many clients are afraid of strict parking enforcement.

“People scared to come to the downtown because parking enforcement, they give nobody break.”

Getting business owners opinion on the changes made is another suggestion in the study.

According to traffic director Danny Magee, an advisory panel was put together to tackle parking concerns.

“Their goal is to reach out to the different downtown business owners, residents, whoever has a concern with parking,” said Magee.

Another suggestion that was recently passed by council is a downtown parking app that will allow users to pay for parking and will help identify available meters.

There will be a 13 cent convenience fee given to users, this will balance off the similar fee the city pays to the parking meter company for credit card usage.

Other suggestions the traffic department is looking into is putting meter vacant building loading zones and potentially partnering with private parking lot owners.

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