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Southtown parking plan in the works

Southtown parking plan in the works

SAN ANTONIO – A classic downtown dilemma is playing out in Southtown: between visitors and residents, parking is a free for all.

People in the Lavaca neighborhood between St. Mary’s Street and I-37 are now working with the city on a solution.

Some neighbors say there’s plenty of parking enforcement on South Alamo, the business corridor, but not on the side streets. That’s why Mary Bustos has a handmade sign discouraging drivers from parking in front of her driveway.

"I especially made that because people were being very inconsiderate,” she says.

The neighborhood where she grew up is now a major hotspot. At peak times, no parking signs are ignored. Driveways are blocked and intersections are obstructed.

"A lot of people just park because they need to park. Free parking,” Bustos says. "They wouldn't like for us to park in front of their homes.”

Councilman Roberto Trevino is working with neighbors to develop a new parking plan.

"We want input from the very people who live there,” he says. "It is going to be a plan for our residents to exist in their neighborhoods, and then of course we also want to provide public parking for the different events that occur in those areas."

The Lavaca Neighborhood Association says the plan will include better signage and full-time resident parking.

Homeowner Cherise Rohr-Allegrini is one of the homeowners who stepped up to help design the plan.

"Because it affects all of us in the neighborhood,” she says.

She points out every block has a different concern based on proximity to events and businesses.

"The plan has to incorporate that concern. Look at the blocks and how they're affected because one size doesn't fit all,” Rohr-Allegrini says.

On top of the new parking plan, she’s pushing for tougher enforcement.

"Ticketing a person that's blocking the driveway doesn't do anything for the person that gets out of the driveway,” Rohr-Allegrini says. “Those cars need to be towed. They need to take that away. And once your car gets towed, you're not going to do that again."

And for those of us who love coming to Southtown to enjoy the scene, Councilman Trevino recommends being patient while looking for parking - or better yet, consider using a rideshare service.

By EMILY BAUCUM

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