wear: Could Austin be more like Denver on commuting?
Continued from B
It was a bad day when I had to park more than two blocks east of San Jacinto Boulevard. There were no days when I couldn’t park.
Now UT has 70,000 students, faculty and staff members converging every day — and only 15,000 parking spaces. UT had to learn to manage the demand for those scarce spaces, and the demand for the street space in and around the campus. Thus the shuttle buses, the high parking fees, the bike racks, the dense housing springing up near campus. And, somehow, that all seems to work.
There are still more parking spaces than people downtown, officials say. But that is changing. Parking lots are becoming condos and courthouses and office buildings.
A recent survey showed that 80 percent of Austin commuters still drive by themselves in their cars. Only 50 percent of Denver commuters, by contrast, drive to work alone, Anderson said.
Could Austin become Denver, with a metro area population of 2.5 million? If so, it might be worth $150,000 a year to start to coax a few people out of their cars.