Dallas Parking Challenge Grows with Denser City

Increasing congestion and growing parking challenges are confronting Dallas drivers as population rises Downtown and Uptown.

Cranes on the skyline bring new residents to high rises along the same-size streets.

"It's very exciting to be in Downtown Dallas," said Michelle Sereno, a downtown worker who grew up in North Texas. "It is definitely a challenge, parking. You definitely have to plan it out in advance."
Coworker Vicky Velez moved from San Antonio to Dallas.

"I think it's congested for sure, but with every city that grows come these challenges of parking," Velez said.

Downtown Dallas actually has an evening parking surplus once office workers leave the big parking garages.

Downtown City Councilman Philip Kingston said building owners have liability fears about making those spaces available to the public at night.

"So the spaces sit empty, which is ridiculous," Kingston said. "It would be much better if we could ease the owners' fears about liability so that those spaces could be accessed."

There's talk of a Downtown Dallas Parking District set up that could handle the liability issues.

Four years ago, to encourage development of older parts of the city where land is scarce, the city relaxed parking quotas for certain types of business. Kingston said quotas remain in place for bars.

"The only way neighbors have to prevent the over proliferation of alcohol uses is with that parking requirement," he said.

The city still allows property owners to use small compact car spaces to satisfy parking ratios as it promotes Dallas density.

"That is our goal and it requires us to abandon our reliance on the automobile," Kingston said.

The shift away from cars is not easy for some drivers.

"Texas isn't like New York or Chicago," said driver Dan Hatton. "It's spread out. Everybody has their own vehicle."

San Antonio transplant Vicky Velez said she does not want to park her car for good.

"I like my car, I do," she said.

Kingston said central Dallas drivers should think about taxis, Uber, Lyft and DART and less about cars and parking.

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