AUSTIN, Texas — The city wants to improve parking options in the South Congress tourist mecca. Businesses and those living in the area have mixed feelings on solutions being considered.
Brandon Hodges, President of the South Congress Merchants Association says circling to find a parking spot is a common frustration, "Parking has always been a contentious issue a long South Congress."
The City of Austin conducted a study on ways parking can be improve within the tourist district.
The study found parking spots are taken up for much of the day. It added that many spots are underutilized due to confusing signage or restrictions.
Hodges blames downtown workers looking for cheaper parking, "Downtown commuters are parking in the easy spot and zipping a bus right across the river to work."
RELATED: East Austin community responds to 'car culture' complaints from new residents
Paula Kothmann with the South River City Citizens Neighborhood Association agrees, "The construction workers and the clerks and the people who are working in the restaurants they park here."
Hodges says more needs to be done to limit long-term parking, "By the time merchants open their shops and the restaurants parking spots are already taken up."
The study suggests relaxing residential parking restrictions that went into place about five years ago and adding parking meters.
A solution, the two don't agree on.
"We don't live downtown. We don't live in high rises we don't want parking meters in front of our houses," said Kothmann.
"Merchants for many years have really upheld the thought of meters but actually the science is beginning to show us that it increases more turnover," said Hodges.
The city plans to receive feedback on the study's recommendations with hopes to have a plan drafted later this year.