HOUSTON -- There are three streets in Houston where drivers are most likely to receive a parking ticket, according to data from the city’s Parking Management Department.
They are Travis Street downtown, with about 3,800 citations issued annually, Caroline Street from Franklin to Hermann Park, with about 4,500 tickets, and Texas Avenue from the Theater District to just past BBVA Compass Stadium -- about 6,400 tickets a year are issued on Texas Avenue.
The city’s hot spots for towing are Lillian Street, California Street and the 2500 block of Bagby, according to parking data. It is no coincidence that these streets are all in the city's hottest party zones, near Washington Avenue, Montrose and in Midtown.
Our cameras captured plenty of party people giving parking enforcement officers grief after discovering they had been ticketed or towed. The officers are trained to handle such situations with diplomacy and patience.
Parking tickets cost $30 for an expired meter and $70 for no parking zone violations. Once a car has been towed, it costs about $200 to retrieve it. The driver also receives a $70 ticket.
Parking officials advise drivers to always pay close attention to posted signs warning of tow away zones.
When drivers discover their car has been towed, they can call 311 to find out steps to get it back.
Also, a city parking official said parking meters will let drivers know if a payment is required to park on streets at certain times of day.
“Just hit OK and if it says, ‘No payment required,’ you can walk away,” said Maria Irshad, Assistant Director of Parking Management for the City of Houston.
The only guaranteed free metered street parking is downtown on Sundays, according to Irshad.
She also said the city has simplified no parking signs throughout the city to make them easier for drivers to understand.