‘A direct, deliberate attack’: entrepreneurs furious over proposed parking permit program

‘A direct, deliberate attack’: entrepreneurs furious over proposed parking permit program

A pilot program to solve the parking problem at the St. Mary’s Strip is a proposed solution coming up this weekend.

SAN ANTONIO — For years, residents of Tobin Hill have expressed concerns about crime, noise and parking problems in their neighborhood.
They claim it all comes from bars and restaurants along the St. Mary’s Strip.
Bar owners also say they are frustrated. Now, a newly proposed pilot program to solve the parking problem adds to the stress of keeping their business alive.
“It feels like a direct, deliberate attack on nightlife and hospitality,” said Aaron Peña, owner of The Squeezebox.
Peña says he, along with 20+ entrepreneurs along North St. Mary’s, is preparing for another battle to keep doors open.
“We’re dealing with obstacle after obstacle,” Peña said. “This is ill-timed, so we need to get this off the table.”
Peña is one of several bar owners affected by the city’s new Overnight Residential Permit Parking Program (ORPP), which grants street parking exclusively to residents in designated areas from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Notification of the proposed pilot program was sent to Peña in an email on Monday.
Peña says that if this pilot is carried out, it will harm his business.
“I can’t go down the side streets to park. So what are the solutions? Are you going to park me 30 minutes away and take me here? It’s not feasible. It doesn’t make sense, and it will kill small businesses like mine,” he explained.
Peña says there are other things like ongoing construction and a new noise ordinance that are making things worse. Some entrepreneurs, he says, reported losing up to $15,000 a month.
“I want this to be discussed when construction is done because until that street is repaired, we don’t know what the world is like for us,” said Peña, who was vocal on social media about the proposed parking permit program.
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