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Parking Strategy

Downtown Austin Parking Strategy

Solutions for Austin's Future

Downtown Austin Parking Strategy


Led by the Downtown Austin Alliance, along with transportation consultants Nelson\Nygaard and key community stakeholders, the Downtown Austin Parking Strategy is a data-driven effort to develop a comprehensive parking management plan, guided by clear goals and objectives for the future of downtown. 


Through robust data collection, the team developed the first-ever comprehensive inventory of public and private parking facilities in Downtown Austin. Numerous stakeholder interviews, three community workshops, and an online survey were conducted to solicit feedback on key parking challenges and desired areas of improvement.


We have formed Parking Action Team to implement and track the strategy’s recommendations while consulting with the City of Austin and other key stakeholders on short and long-term implementation strategies.



The Downtown Austin Parking Strategy outlined nineteen short- and long-term strategies to improve parking in downtown Austin. One of the short-term goals is to expand the affordable parking program working with private parking operators to open private parking spaces to downtown workers.
In August 2018, we announced that eight private parking garages joined the City of Austin's Affordable Parking Program, which aims to make downtown parking more accessible and affordable to downtown service-industry and hospitality workers. 
The addition of these private garages adds almost 2000 parking spaces to the program. The cost to parkers will be $35 to $40 a month plus tax. Garages are open from 3:00 or 4:00 pm to 7:00 am Monday through Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday. 

Click here to learn more and apply for the program.


Below are links to the full 84-page report and a summary of the implementation plan.
The briefing book and summary sheet posted below contain key findings regarding parking inventory, existing conditions, and public input (including workshops, focus groups, and public survey) released in fall 2016.
Briefing Book Key Findings (485 kB, 11/9/16)
Briefing Book Part 1 (23MB, 1/4/17)
Briefing Book Part 2 (30MB, 1/4/17)

Main Project Components

  • Focused community and stakeholder engagement at project onset to help define parking challenges and needs and inform the goals of the project. Community and stakeholder input throughout the project, including community workshops, meetings, and an online survey.
  • A comprehensive inventory of existing downtown parking system, including on and off-street parking and associated regulations and infrastructure.
  • Complete understanding of how the parking system is currently being used at key times throughout the day; on weekdays and weekends; district by district.
  • Projection of future parking demand based on the future development of downtown. This analysis will also include the development of two different parking demand scenarios based on different applications of travel behavior, mode split, and transportation demand programs.
  • Strategic Implementation Plan that addresses existing deficiencies; helps to maximize the management and use of existing parking assets; looks forward ensuring that we are planning appropriately for future parking needs while also considering future technology advancements, and creates a more user-friendly parking system.


The consulting team was led by Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, an internationally recognized firm committed to developing transportation systems that promote vibrant, sustainable, and accessible communities. Nelson\Nygaard is known for their innovative and forward-thinking approach to transportation planning. The team also included local planning firms Asakura Robinson and McCann Adams Studio, and San Diego-based Dixon Resources, experts in parking management and operations.


The Parking Strategy Steering Committee provided project direction and ensured that the effort is aligned with other city and regional planning and transportation initiatives.

  • Charles Heimsath, Committee Chair, Capitol Market Research and Downtown Austin Alliance Board
  • Annick Beaudet, Austin Transportation Department
  • Greg Canally, Austin Financial Services Department
  • John-Michael Cortez, Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Adler
  • Brian S. Greig, Norton Rose Fullbright US LLP
  • Steven Halpin, Texas Facilities Commission
  • Todd Hemingson, Capital Metro
  • Tim Hendricks, Cousins Property, and Downtown Austin Alliance Board
  • Ben Holland, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Jeff Howard, McLean & Howard and Downtown Austin Alliance Board
  • Steve Grassfield, Austin Parking Enterprise
  • Ashby Johnson, CAMPO
  • Chi Lee, Gensler
  • Steve Oliver, Chair, Planning Commission
  • Martin Zamzow, Office of Travis County Commissioner Daugherty


The project kicked off in May 2016 and included robust community engagement, data collection, and stakeholder input. The Downtown Austin Parking Strategy was released in June 2017. 



Media Inquiries:

Lia Truitt - Elizabeth Christian Public Relations

(512) 494-2863

Project Manager:

Melissa Barry - Vice President, Planning

(512) 469-0476