Posted on April 30, 2014 at 2:05 PM
Updated today at 2:15 PM
AUSTIN — Oh the joy when you see someone finally leaving a parking spot in downtown Austin.Though once you get in, you have to figure out how to pay. Sometimes even check the signs to see if it’s legal. For those who work downtown, parking can be an everyday nightmare.
"It was especially difficult during SXSW,” said one driver.
Some companies are rolling out incentives. Tevis Paxton works at Sparefoot in downtown Austin, an online market place for self storage units around the country.
"I don’t know anyone else who gets paid to bike to work,” said Paxton. As part of the new company program, those who don’t take a parking pass, get $100 a month.
"I never have to worry about where I am going to park or getting a ticket after I do park there, said Paxton."
Sparefoot offers around seven incentives, including money and reimbursement for those who take Cap Metro or carpool.
John Egan is an editor of blogs at Sparefoot. He says since joining the company a year ago the workforce has doubled to 145 employees.
"That means more people need to find parking. Which has been a big problem downtown because all of these other companies need parking,” said Egan.
He still takes the company paid for parking spot, but says he would opt out if a transportation solution fit his needs.
"If there were an option to have a train that went east west which would benefit me, That would help a lot,” said Egan.
Sparefoot hopes to set an example for others that Austin can deal with the parking crunch in inventive ways.
According to The Austin Transportation Department there are 3,000 parking spots on the street downtown, plus 4,000 more in city garages. There are around 10,000 spots in private lots and garages, though that number has dropped from 10 years ago as buildings have gone up on those lots.