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Construction workers taking up Downtown Austin parking

The City of Austin is looking to find ways to keep construction workers out of on-street parking spaces downtown. (CBS Austin)

The City of Austin is looking to find ways to keep construction workers out of on-street parking spaces downtown.

A resolution is set to go to the Austin City Council at Thursday’s meeting that aims to have construction workers stop taking up parking spaces downtown.

The resolution, sponsored by mayor pro-tem Kathy Tovo, says there’s already a chronic parking shortage in Downtown Austin. Added to that, construction workers take away spots, and some jobs even convert spaces during a project.

That’s why the resolution would propose ordinance changes or recommendations to get workers to park off-street. At no cost to the workers themselves, the resolution suggests incentivizing workers to park in garages, carpool or take a shuttle service.

“I love that idea, I think that’s great. I think it’ll help out a lot,” driver Ingrid Villarreal said.

Villarreal said she spent 15 minutes circling the block near the Trader Joe's downtown looking for a spot. She ended up just waiting and eventually found a spot after someone left.

“It’s always a pain,” Villarreal said. “And this was a good day actually.”

She’s seen a lot of those spots taken up by construction workers nearby. “It’s horrible, I think there should be some type of system where they could maybe have parking spaces allocated to them further out,” Villarreal said.

Construction workers James Locke and Clyde Sanders work at the Independent. They said most of the pay for parking street spaces nearby are taken up by construction workers. They still had to block three or four blocks away.

“Look at all those what you got here, they’re working there, we’re working here, they’re working there, we’re all using the same parking,” Sanders said.

“We ride up here all together, one truck. It’s a constant battle that we’re having to deal with every day,” Locke said.

Locke and two other construction workers drive to downtown every day from San Antonio.

They’re open to any kind of change in parking. “I’m down,” Locke said. “That would be nice if they had a shuttle, maybe from that parking garage.”

Others weren’t as open. One man said his company already set up a parking garage. However, it’s six blocks away and he didn’t want to walk with all his equipment to the site.

Another man said they deserve those spaces and should also park there for free.

The resolution would only apply to construction projects within the boundaries of Martin Luther King Blvd, Lamar, I-35 and Lady Bird Lake.

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