Hey, Texplainer: Where can I park when I come to visit the Capitol?

There are almost 1,600 parking choices when you come to see your lawmakers in action under the pink dome.

There are 865 metered spaces in the Capitol complex — from 10th Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and from Lavaca Street to Trinity Street, according to Chris Currens, the State Preservation Board’s director of special projects. But not all those meters are available to the public all the time. Currens said on any given day, up to 10 percent of the metered spaces are rented out to special interest groups.

The board rents out the metered parking spaces surrounding the Capitol for a fee of $12 per meter per day. Rented meters are covered with bags to indicate they're not available for public use. To rent a space, interest groups notify the board’s parking supervisor which spaces they would like to use.

“We try to accommodate a group that is trying to meet their legislators,” Currens said. “If someone comes up and says, ‘Hey, we want to rent a space just because we want a place to park,’ then we don’t [rent them a space].”

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If you can't find an open metered spot, Currens said the visitor’s garage at 1201 San Jancinto Street has 734 spaces and is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The first two hours are free, and the maximum fee is $8 per day.

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