Parking in downtown El Paso has never been easy, but with more businesses opening, more events taking place there, and the ballpark, parking is at even more of a premium than ever. It's a problem that could get worse for a downtown neighborhood because residents there could soon lose some of their 'permit only' parking spots. Residents in the area have to pay for parking permits. Those permits are supposed to ensure that people who are attending events downtown don't crowd out people who live there.

A study done by the City in the neighborhood near Southwest University Park determined that parking spaces there were only being used about half the time. Residents say that's because the study was conducted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday when a lot of people were at work. They want another study to be done during peak parking hours on weekends and during baseball games.

Neighbors say they just want the parking that was promised to them and that they are paying for, but a local bar owner says it will be good for business and the neighborhood if 10 currently permitted parking spots were available to the public.

Council will be presented additional information about the parking issue in May.

I go to a lot of baseball games, as well as to other events downtown. I often walk with my grandkids, parents, Darren, his mom, and friends from parking garages around downtown to those venues. I think it is particularly crappy of the City to take away permitted spaces to give them to a bar owner. People need to get used to walking to and from parking structures downtown. It's a five minute walk, and that is the way a downtown works. If you want to have a parking lot for your patrons, open up in a strip center.

Get it together, City Council.