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Post Office Defends Lack Of Parking At New Downtown Austin Location
The newly opened Downtown Austin Post Office has some of its 2,400 customers angry about the lack of parking.
For 16 years those patrons were accustomed to free parking at 5th and Guadalupe.
However, the only options at the new location at 823 Congress Avenu for parking are to pay for a meter or lot. Other choices include walking, taking the bus, carpooling or using the car share program.
“I said 'where is your parking?' and she just laughed,” said a post office customer Pam McBride.
Another customer, Corbin Casteel, said, “They need to run in and run out. This is not conducive to this at all.”
“I had to drive around the block three times and now I am illegally parked,” said customer Sally Jacques.
So we dug into why there are no designated spots.
According to the City of Austin, under the current code businesses are required to provide one parking space for every 275 square feet. We’re told since Congress Avenue is in the central business district this rule doesn’t apply.
“That building was originally permitted in 1969 as an office building. It’s in the central business zoning district which has reduced parking requirements,” said City of Austin Development Assistant Manager Christopher Johnson.
The Postal Service defends the Congress Avenue location, saying the public wanted it there. A spokesperson issued this statement:
“For customer convenience, Post Office Box holders maintained their key and same PO Box address and ZIP Code as at the old location. This saved our customers considerable costs, eliminating the need to reprint stationery and other items. The Post Office Box lobby is open seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Customers also will appreciate having a self-service kiosk to conduct many postal transactions, including stamp purchases, which are conducted at the retail counter. The self-service kiosk will be available at this location starting Saturday, January 5.
Customers are reminded that the Post Office is always open at www.usps.com. Sending packages is quick, easy and convenient. Customers also may take advancing of the personal convenience and service of having packages picked up at their home, saving a trip to the Post Office. And unlike other shipping companies, there is no fee for this service.”
To see real time data on parking spots in Downtown Austin, go to http://www.keyetv.com/news/features/traffic/?wap=0&/.
By Christie Post