Sharring experiences in urban infrastructure delivery.

Controlling Commercial Parking

By: Tom Davis Category: Parking, Recent Posts

CIMG9752.JPGHouston is well known for pickup trucks and I think one of the things that made some decide to drive one was our “Truck Loading Zones”. The zones were conveniently placed to serve the businesses nearby. But, any truck could park for free. So, the zone were often used by non-delivery trucks and hence did not serve the purpose for deliveries. A control scheme had to be found that provided for deliveries to the businesses in the CBD.

The answer was to pass an ordinance that set up new signage and special red parking meters for the new” Commercial Vehicle Loading/Unloading Zones” (CVLZ)–and a very high penalty if the vehicle was not permitted as a delivery. Getting a parking ticket in a CVLZ can really hurt and you are warned at the meter when you are dumping many quarters for a only a few minutes.

The gist of the new controls is that the owner of a commercial vehicle who wants to park in the clearly designated CVLZ can buy one of several different permits good for different durations that allows them to park in those spaces for different number of hours without paying the meter. There are four permits available.

CIMG9754.JPGA. Class A – $1,200 per year, valid for one year, transferable. May park in a CVLZ or 1-2 regular metered spaces without paying the meter for up to two hours.
Class B – $300 per year, valid for one year, transferable. May park in a CVLZ for up to one hour.
Class C – $150 per year, valid for one year, transferable. May park in a CVLZ for up to thirty minutes.
Class D – $25 for 21 consecutive days. May park in a CVLZ for up to one hour. Only one Class D permit may be issued to any vehicle owner within a 12-month period.

This scheme was derived after meetings with various groups of stakeholders in the commercial service industry. Examples of the different needs are: the office-supply delivery dropping off a small box of supplies or unloading new file cabinets; the restaurant supplier delivering produce; the beer delivery rolling boxes to several clubs; and the high-rise residential manager who has moving vans to unload from out-of-town movers. The different classes were setup to try to meet the the wide range of needs.

The one that the above Classes does not address is the one-time drop such as for a commercial vehicle from out of town that does not have a permit. To allow for that situation the CMLZ has a red parking meter that accepts quarters. The rate is $5 per hour payable in quarters. So a dollar only buys 12 minutes. That dissuades the usual pickup trucks or anyone else from wanting to park there. It also assures turnover so the true commercial vehicles can make the needed deliveries.

I am not in the commercial delivery business but from the perspective of someone that walks the streets every day it seems to work well.

Want to know more about City of Houston’s Parking Management and the CVLZ? Click here.


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