Commentary is guessing crooked GOP AG Ken Paxton is done. His only hope is a Donald Trump Hail Mary pass of sorts.
Going to the ballpark to watch the Astros can get expensive. Sure, you can take water and snacks inside. Some families like to buy a soft drink, a beer, hot dogs, peanuts, cotton, candy – you get the picture. Hey, the Astros owner has to pay the bills like for Jose Altuve and Yordan’s salary, the electric bill, team travel, and all the concession workers to name a few.
When I go to The Yard, I spend some dough.
To save money, I park on the street. I may have to walk four or five blocks, but it is worth it. If I get there after 6 pm, it’s free. It is also free on Sunday. For Saturday day games, I usually pay a four-hour fare for street parking. I have the ParkMobile app on my phone gizmo.
I am not the only Astros fan who parks on the street. A bunch also do.
See this from the Chron:
After-hours street parking in Houston may start to cost money after 6 p.m. as the result of a proposed ordinance change by the city’s parking management division.
The regulatory body that runs ParkHouston proposed the change in a May 4 presentation to Houston’s Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure Committee. One of the changes would extend metered parking to midnight, Monday through Saturday — as opposed to the current metered parking hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Some areas in Houston already have metered parking after 6 p.m., such as Rice Village and the River Oaks District, but the proposed change would apply metered parking citywide.
The proposed ordinance change would also create different parking prices based on whether a parking space is in an in-demand zone or in an economy zone.
Parking prices already vary throughout the city. For in-demand parking, the proposed changes state parking will be between $0.31 – $1.89 for every ten minutes.
For economy parking, the proposed changes state parking will be between $0.31 – $1.89 for every hour.
Administration and Regulatory Affairs Deputy Director Maria Irshad said at the May 4 meeting the city has seen an uptick in parking revenue after the pandemic and the city is seeing a shift in parking patterns, both during office hours and in the evenings.
Irshad said parking occupancy after 6 p.m. following the pandemic, “increased dramatically, particularly on weekends,” and the changes intend to help control long-term, curbside parking.
“Curbside parking is the most convenient parking, it should be used by business patrons. What we’re seeing right now after 6 p.m. is that the curbside parking is being used by long-term parkers,” Irshad said.
Irshad said private operators will also charge parking rates that business patrons may not be willing to pay, which leads to more patrons circling blocks, leading to congestion and planting the idea, “that there is not enough parking.”
The changes would also take the underutilized blocks into consideration and price them at an economy rate.
“They can park in a more convenient location near their final destination and pay the demand rate, where they will pay the regular hourly rate for as many hours as they need,” Irshad said, “or they can be willing to walk a little bit and park in a location that’s underutilized and pay a few bucks for the whole night.”
The proposed changes met mixed reactions on Reddit, after a user submitted a link for people to provide a public comment on the changes. Some users praised the proposed changes, saying the change could potentially encourage more people to utilize rideshare options and free up more spaces downtown. Others expressed contempt for the change, saying free street parking after 6 p.m. was a great way to attend sporting events at the Toyota Center or Minute Maid Park.
To determine which spaces are in-demand or economy, ParkHouston surveyed about 230 blocks in downtown, East Downtown, Midtown and the Museum District for 17 days in November and December in 2022 and seven days in February and March in 2023. Irshad said those are typically the city’s “low-volume months.”
Irshad said the survey counted vehicles’ license plates parked on certain blocks and how often they parked on the weekday and weekends, from 6 p.m. to midnight.
This determined the average occupancy of the parking spaces of those blocks. The survey ultimately found demand for parking was highest after 6 p.m. and, “demands management,” Irshad said at the meeting.
“Based on the significant data collected and the need to manage the curve space to improve the parking experience, we are recommending that the city ordinance be amended to extend meter hours of operation to midnight citywide,” Irshad said.
ParkHouston is also recommending there be no limit to the amount of metered time one can purchase after 6 p.m.
Public comment for the proposed changes ends May 26. Revisions to the proposed changes are expected to reach the city council before the end of May. If approved, ParkHouston will spend June through August finalizing the zones, programming the meters and updating the signs and start issuing warnings about the changes on September 1.
Irshad said the tentative goal for the proposed changes to start being enforced would be September 15, but that is subject to change.
If you ask Commentary, and they never ask Commentary, free parking after 6 pm Downtown has been a good tradition. Why mess with the good experience Astros fans have had?
It is like owner Jim Crane has put a winning organization together that is bringing more folks to The Yard and some folks now want to get in on the action. That is not right.
If there was some problem or an inconvenience to those wanting to park on the streets, I would understand. Nobody has been complaining about street parking Downtown after 6 pm.
It is a reach into the pockets of loyal Astros fans, pure and simple. Totally unnecessary. A grab for sure.
This is a good reason to subscribe to the hard copy of the Chron. This is a very moving, feel good, and get happy story. Check this:
The opening line of Conroe High School graduate Sky Castner’s essay application to Harvard University says “I was born in prison.”
Castner, 18, was born in the Galveston County Jail. Her mother was incarcerated at the time of her birth. Her dad picked the newborn Castner up from the jail and raised her as a single dad.
On Thursday, she’ll graduate No. 3 in Conroe High’s class of 2023 and in the fall will live out her dream of attending Harvard University to study law.
Castner grew up moving around a lot with her dad, but always stayed in Montgomery County.
At Reaves Elementary school in Conroe, Castner was a voracious reader. The school staff felt she could benefit from CISD’s Project Mentor program, which partners community volunteers with students who need a little extra time with a caring adult. The district connected her with her mentor, Mona Hamby.
“I was given a paper about her. Her hero was Rosa Parks, her favorite food was tacos from Dairy Queen and she loved to read. I thought this sounds like a bright little girl,” Hamby said. “I still have that paper today.”
They bonded over both not having a mother. Castner said she has only spoken to her birth mother once when she was 14.
Check out the story here: Conroe grad born in jail to fulfill dream of attending Harvard (houstonchronicle.com).
The team is in Oakland for three this weekend.