GALVESTON — Mayor Lewis Rosen was in a rush Thursday morning, trying to reach the groundbreaking ceremony for the city’s new downtown transit terminal.
He made it on time and was “very honored” to be there, but when he returned to his white Chevy Suburban, he found that he wasn’t getting back to City Hall right away.
Rosen’s SUV was booted by parking attendants Thursday after he failed to pay the $5 fee required in the lot at 25th Street and Santa Fe Plaza. City public information officer Elizabeth Rogers also had her car booted.
Rosen was good-natured about the incident.
“Being very thoughtful, I decided not to park on the street and not to take up the spots of the older people who were parking (for the groundbreaking ceremony),” Rosen said. “I just didn’t see the sign.”
The lot is across the street from Shearn Moody Plaza, which is home to a number of county offices, including child protective services and the probation department. The lot has been privately owned since last summer, when it was taken over by GTP Parking.
Rosen said he was able to get out of the situation without paying the $5 fee or any extra penalties.
A GTP Parking spokesperson said the company uses discretion in collecting fees. Normally, the company charges $100 to remove a boot or $300 if a vehicle is towed. The spokesperson said the lot is checked about every 10 minutes because of high use.
Rosen has been a major proponent of paid parking in the city — especially on Seawall Boulevard. He said that he has also heard complaints about problems with the kiosks downtown, and that if it is an issue, it will be considered by the city council in the near future.
“I think that we’re going to be addressing that issue to make sure that we make those operating properly,” Rosen said.
Rosen might soon be able to find more convenient parking spots on the west end of downtown. The transit terminal that broke ground Thursday is planned to include 170 new public parking spaces.
Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or firstname.lastname@example.org