Ballpark parking could mean residential areas become free lots

Some people will take public transportation downtown, but most people will be driving

Ballpark Parking

EL PASO, Texas - The borderland is just 20 days away from the Chihuahua's first home game at Southwest University Park. Some people will take public transportation downtown, but most people will be driving.

There is some concern that ballpark parking will become a problem for downtown businesses and residential streets in nearby Sunset Heights and Old San Francisco. But this City of El Paso said it's not worried.

Sunset Heights residents Alex Kunen and his fiance Terra are excited about the ballpark. They say they'll even walk to games.

"It'll bring quite a few revenue dollars to the community," Kunen said.

But for those who can't walk or choose not to take the bus, they'll have to park either at nearby meter parking or parking garages. Meters will be anywhere from $0.75-to -$2.50 an hour, parking garages could be upwards of $8 flat fee.

And this could become an issue during day games that start at 11:05 a.m. -- right in the middle of the business day.

"We expect that there will be a demand of parking in the area and people will take any free parking first and then they go to the parking areas that have a charge," said Director of the city's Dept. of Transportation Ted Marquez.

By free parking, Marquez means nearby residential areas, where Terra and Alex live.
Or maybe, like some Old San Francisco and Sunset Heights residents fear, people will park right in from of their homes, in their spots.

"We have a two car driveway, we only have two cars so it's not really a concern to us," Kunen said.

But if it is for others, the city said they can apply for residential permits that guarantee them their spot.

"Any resident that wants a parking restriction place on their block can solicit that and we can put it in," Marquez said.

While some streets already have these restrictions, residents who want to prevent ballpark parking on their block will have to pony up the permit fee of $10 a year per car, with additional guest passes.

"I'm from Seattle so I'm very use to paying for parking, and $10 a year isn't a huge burden," said Kunen.

As for downtown parking during day games, the city doesn't expect that many people to come out, and demand for parking will remain the same.

"They have plenty of parking spaces," Marquez said.

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