Parking & Transportation

In 2014, KWA staff contacted the City’s office of Transportation and Capital Improvements to discuss how to get the streets repaired in the “Fair Zone” so that they would be in excellent shape for the 50th Fair.  Staff met with City representatives several times to discuss the issues.  

In 2015, staff again met with City representatives and drove around King William streets with them to discuss drainage and road conditions.  The city agreed that the streets needed to be fixed.  A formal letter was written and the KWA president met with Councilman Treviño to present the facts regarding the condition of the streets, drainage issues, that it has been decades since the streets were repaired; additionally, King William is a highly visited tourist destination, and the condition of our streets should be improved to reflect that.  

The City has refined its parking pilot to align it with a traditional residential permit parking program (RPP).  An RPP allows certain areas of on-street parking to be designated for resident parking only.  Residents in these designated areas can park in the designated area with a permit.  The neighborhood already includes an RPP on Arsenal Street. See map below for proposed streets to be affected.

In summary: 

  • The program will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily.
  • There is a fee of $10 for each permit per year.
  • Four permits per parcel are available.  Multi-unit parcels are allowed two permits per unit.
  • KWA will solicit signatures for a petition to document support or opposition for the project.
  • Residents can identify their preferred side of the street for residential parking.

Next steps involve your help, as KWA volunteers and staff gather signatures from the affected blocks. Once signatures are collected and reviewed by City staff, City Council will be asked to pass an ordinance identifying the pilot area.  The pilot will last for one year at which time it will be evaluated.

- Rose Kanusky

What is a RPP?

A residential permit parking program allows for certain areas of on-street parking to be designated for resident parking only due to a chronic commuter problem. Achronic commuter parking problem is the regular occupancy of curbside parking spaces by commuter vehicles at the same hours and same days. This does not include parking for events that occur on a frequency of less than once every two weeks. This pilot program would allow for an RPP on one side and open parking on the opposite side (general public or RPP permit holders). Residents in these designated areas can purchase permits from the City of San Antonio to allow for on-street parking.

Read Parking Zones Fact Sheet

Download Parking Zones Map

This article is going to press between the City’s public meetings on April 6 and 13, 2017, when the City provided updates to its proposed parking pilot.  Changes are anticipated between the meetings, as well as after.  Be sure to check KWA’s website for the latest details and a map of the pilot area (which is much smaller than the confines of either King William or Lavaca).  Comments about the revised proposal should be submitted to KWA or me no later than May 13. 

Parking on the commercial corridor (Alamo, Presa and St. Mary’s) will be limited to three-hour parking.  The pilot area will be roughly two blocks off each street in the commercial corridor. 

In October 2014, the King William Association and Lavaca Neighborhood Association created an ad hoc joint committee to secure a parking needs assessment from the City that would support solutions to our traffic-related problems.  These problems included, among other things, decreased visibility at intersections, blocked driveways and impaired first responder access.  Both KWA and LNA conducted surveys, held meetings and engaged in social media discussions.  Transportation issues were regularly addressed in the KWA newsletter while City staff worked with its outside engineering consultant to secure a study and recommendations.

The KWA and LNA joint Parking/Transportation Committee met with the City’s staff and consultant in July to discuss the ongoing review of our transit issues. The City is working closely with the consultant to identify best practices for permit parking and to further identify funding sources for solutions. Another meeting was expected in late August or early September. - Rose Kanusky, Committee Chair

KWA and LNA created a joint parking/transportation committee in October 2014 to secure a parking needs assessment.  Since that time, this volunteer committee has attempted to address a wide variety of transit-related issues.  In summary, the committee has:

  • Attended over two dozen meetings with city officials and stakeholders.
  • Surveyed current transit-related signage.
  • Conducted a traffic/parking survey for Lavaca and the same survey for King William.
  • Secured a city sponsored online survey regarding narrow streets.
  • Acquired two technical memos from the city’s consultant regarding current conditions.
  • Created “This Could Be A Ticket” push card for parking offenses.
  • Authored numerous newsletter articles and board reports.
  • Received additional safety striping at the Alamo/Probandt intersection.
  • Obtained removal of dangerous striping at the Alamo/Adams intersection.
  • Added “No Parking” signs near the Alamo St. crosswalk at the Friendly Spot.

The City announced that it will install a “chain chime” near the Union Pacific bridge that crosses S. St. Mary’s St. near Brackenridge High School.  The King William and Lavaca neighborhoods asked for this solution in the past, and we’re hopeful that it will work. 

For those of you who park on the street, I learned an interesting tip about parking and bike safety that I hope many of you will consider using: When you park on the street, rather than reaching for your vehicle’s door handle with your left hand, use your right hand.  This forces you to turn toward the street and slightly behind, looking for cycles, pedestrians, and other through traffic.  How hard would it be to form a new habit?

- Rose Kanusky
KWA/LNA Parking & Transportation Committee

Thank you to all the residents, business owners, and property owners who took the time to complete the City’s parking survey.  We anticipate that results will be included in the next technical memo prepared by the City’s consultant, which should also address national best practices for residential parking permits.  

The consultant produced two other technical memos, one surveying available parking in the area and one surveying the street widths.  The consultant is likely to make a recommendation in the coming months that will address our neighborhood parking/traffic issues; however, the recommendation may need City Council approval before implementation. 

The City has hired a consultant to address some of the parking and transportation issues in King William and Lavaca.  The consultant has measured the street widths in King William and Lavaca. The consultant has also determined that the width of a typical parking space on the street is 9 feet wide.  This measurement includes 8 feet for the vehicle’s width and only 12 inches between the vehicle and the curb.

In August, at the request of the City, the joint KWA/LNA parking and transit committee presented its concerns to the City staff, City consultant, area developers and a few others interested in urban traffic issues. Jim Mery, deputy direc-tor of the Center CityDevelopment Office, is coninuing to refine our requested scope of work for a parking/transportation study, and we hope to receive a definitive answer from him within the month. We also received favorable coverage of our transit issues in “Local Community News.” 

- Rose Kanusky

VIA Metropolitan Transit enjoys working with the King William Association to provide efficient and safe public transportation services to the King William District. It is one of many close relationships we maintain with various public and private organizations to provide top quality services as we work hard to serve our 13-city service region.

With this relationship in mind, we’d like to address some of the concerns the article “The Little Street That Couldn’t” highlighted in the July 2015 edition of the KWA Newsletter. The article stated that VIA relocated Route 46/Commercial onto W. Sheridan St. without informing the City of San Antonio, and it implied that the route could be moved again in the near future. We felt it important to let your readers know this is not the case.

VIA is installing new bus shelters throughout the City. The KWA requested that bus stops within King William Historic District be of a style more compatible with our historic buildings.

The transit ridership is very high at the Pedro Huizar Park bus stop, and was at the top of VIA’s list for improvements. As Committee Chair for the beautification for the park, we have worked with VIA to recycle a “pagoda style” bus shelter from downtown. This request needed approval from both the KWA Board, VIA and the City’s Park and Recreation Department. In addition to the approval to relocate the bus shelter, the site needs to be upgraded to improve handicap access.

On the afternoon of June 1, I spotted a peculiar sight. Two City of San Antonio engineers were wandering up and down W. Sheridan Street, scratching their heads and looking extremely perplexed.

I knew exactly what had the Transportation and Capital Improvements engineers so baffled. They were trying to figure out why Sheridan, which the City just resurfaced last year, now looked as collapsed and rutted as an Old West wagon trail. And I also knew what had caused all the damage. The culprit was VIA’s bus 46, which was rerouted to Sheridan on February 2 due to H-E-B’s closure of S. Main Avenue.

By the time you read this, your parking and transportation committee will have finished its survey, held a joint neighborhood meeting with Lavaca, and met with more city and county officials.  As I write this article, however, the survey is still open.  Rather than wait for the June 15 closing date, I snuck a peak at the survey results and was fascinated by them. 

First, to those who questioned the design of the survey and its psychometric properties, I say, “Get involved.”  From time to time, KWA volunteers have conducted surveys.  Wouldn’t it be great if we knew which neighbors were willing to provide expertise on survey design? 

As it turned out, KWA mirrored its survey on the one conducted by the Lavaca Neighborhood Association, which is partnering with us on the parking and transportation committee.  Yes, LNA beat us to the punch.  Because we are working jointly, comparable questions for the initial survey were important to us. 

LNA had 70 respondents, and KWA will have over 150.  With neighborhoods of approximately a thousand addresses each, do you think our results are statistically significant?  If not, we’re still pleased with the outcome.

I didn’t expect any new ideas or proposed solutions to surface from the survey, so I was surprised to see a few.  One interesting idea was to eliminate parking on the streets overnight, but I think the people that proposed this idea don’t realize that a number of neighbors have no driveways and have no room to install them. 

Then there are neighbors with more cars than space in their driveway, either because of the number of adults living in the household or because the home has an apartment.  On the flip side, there are residents with driveways who do not use them.

Another interesting idea that seems like a nonstarter is to forget any new regulation and focus solely on enforcement.  Of course, the committee and our executive director have been asking for more enforcement, but enforcement alone is probably not enough when the number of cars continues to grow. 

The majority of our historic streets were built before a 20-foot fire lane was a concern.  That safety requirement is non-negotiable.  Most likely, we need a combination of adequate enforcement, shared parking, a parking garage and parking alternatives like bike racks.  The committee is not proposing any one solution.  We want the professionals at the City to figure it out.

- Rose Kanusky, Chair

How Rumors Get Started

Did you ever play the telephone game in school?  A group of people sit in a circle, and one person whispers a message into the next person’s ear.  The recipient of the message whispers it to the next person, and so on until the last person announces the message.  Not surprisingly, the final message has morphed from the original.  

You may have heard a rumor that KWA has compiled a list of homeowners whose electrical and plumbing systems aren’t up to code.  There is no such list.  But like other rumors, there’s a grain of truth in the statement.

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