Bryan, Brazos Transit District Working To Promote Downtown Parking Garage

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You helped pay for it, but was it worth the cost?

On any given day you'll find hundreds of empty parking spaces in the downtown Bryan parking garage.

News 3 spoke with the Brazos Transit District to find out if the garage is being utilized.

Lunchtime can mean taking more time to park in bustling Downtown Bryan.

Ben Stoughton of Caldwell comes here every few months.

"Yeah, we just came out for lunch. Gonna go to Casa Rodriguez to get some Mexican food and get some ice cream at the antique shop," said Stoughton.

Most of the time he can park pretty close by. But not always.

"Sometimes by Casa Rodriguez we have to walk an extra block because it gets crowded around lunchtime," he explained.

Just a few blocks away there's plenty of parking.

The Brazos Transit District's $15 million Roy Kelly Parking Garage was built to alleviate congestion downtown and is a free place to park for Jury Duty and county employees.

Many people don't know the first hour is free while each additional hour costs just a dollar.

While many of these parking spaces sit empty now, The District says they are planning for the future. This parking garage was designed to meet the needs of Downtown Bryan all the way through the year 2035.

"I think as Texans we're kind of used to having our horse at the stall just ready to go. So we're always going to try to get that front door parking always," said Wendy Weedon, Director or Marketing and Quality Assurance with the Brazos Transit District.

She says they are averaging 500 cars per working day inside the garage. There's also a Greyhound bus terminal and they hope to fill empty retail space inside too.

"We were hoping to get some coffee shops, maybe a Sonic something a bank, something like that would draw people to the downtown area. Especially something that's not already here," said Weedon.

Meanwhile the work continues to make more people comfortable with possibly paying to park.

The parking garage opened in November 2011 and has more than 850 spaces.

The Brazos Transit District did run a downtown shuttle for convenience but cancelled the route because of a lack of use.