Downtown circulation study looks at Ballpark parking

Baseball fans get ready.

The first pitch for the El Paso Chihuahuas is less than four months away. And other than the Ballpark being ready for opening day, the biggest concern for many fans is parking.

A local consulting firm, Walter P. Moore, conducted a study that concludes there are more than 12,000 parking spaces Downtown. But that counts a wide area, as far North as Arizona Avenue and as far South as Paisano and from Durango East to Campbell.

And some fans, who don't want to have to walk, are still worried.

"Most definitely," El Pasoan Frank Carrillo said when asked if he would be willing to walk for a few minutes to baseball games.

Asked if he thinks others will be willing to do so, he replied: "I think so. Heck yeah! We go to (UTEP) Miner games and you walk."

The director of the City of El Paso's Department of Transportation be willing to park and walk is the key. He spoke about a four-month Downtown parking and circulation study. The study gathered information from the Police and Fire departments, the Texas Department of Transportation and other agencies.

Of the more than 12,000 spaces that the study found located between Arizona and Paisano streets, more than 3,000 of those spaces, including at the Mills Parking Garage, are located within a three minute walk of the Ballpark.

"I think the Ballpark is great, it's going to be great for commerce," said Kate Onuska, who works downtown. "But I really think something has to be followed up on so it's convenient for people locally, because if it's a huge headache for families, it's really going to discourage people from coming down."

ABC-7 also spoke with Diego Holguin, who lives near the Ballpark in Sunset Heights.

"We've actually been worried about parking since we moved in," said Holguin, who's looking forward to walking to some games himself, but is worried about his neighborhood becoming a parking lot on game nights. "Whenever there's an event Downtown, this whole street gets pretty congested."

Ted Marquez, director of the City of El Paso Department of Transportation, said Sun Metro plans to begin running its Downtown circulator late into the evening. He said this will allow fans to park farther away and be shuttled to and from the Ballpark.

Marquez added that traffic circulation plans are also being developed for situations involving multiple events in Downtown El Paso.

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