2.2 out of 10

Parker Lane

30.2223024601886 -97.7316746840333
Great for
  • Parking
  • Cost of Living
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Lack of Traffic
  •  
Not great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Clean & Green
  • Eating Out
  • Internet Access
  • Medical Facilities
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Students
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Singles

Reviews

2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Cut off from the rest of Austin by I-35, 71/Ben White Blvd and E Oltorf Rd"

Parker Lane is a neighborhood in South Austin, tucked inside the triangle created by I-35, 71/Ben White Blvd and E Oltorf Rd. Because it is inside this tangle of highways, the neighborhood is effectively cut off from the rest of the city, and has none of the colorful, nature-immersed, hippie/alternative character of the rest of South Austin. Housing prices here are low, and families without a lot of income settle here.

Buses are accessible on E Oltorf Rd and Ben White Blvd, allowing residents without cars to access the rest of the city. Parker Lane is primarily a residential neighborhood, and there are very few shopping options, commercial businesses (except for gas stations, auto repair, motels, liquor stores along the highway fringe), and the food is mostly fast food.

The bright spot of Park Lane is Mabel Davis District Park-- a beautifully-renovated 50-acre park featuring an Olympic-sized swimming pool, basketball courts, covered picnic area, playground, and a well-designed skate park with plenty of space for spectators to sit and watch. In the 1940s and 50s, this land was used by the city of Austin as a landfill, and in the 1970s, it was closed, cleaned up and opened to the public. The park as we see it today is the result of a $7.3 million dollar investment from the city of Austin in the early 2000s.
Pros
  • Close to I-35 and 71
  • Low housing costs
  • Skate park at Mabel Davis District Park
Cons
  • Removed from the action of the city
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Students
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Generic and faded"

The thing about Parker Lane is that no one seems to remember it’s there. Generic, character-free, and largely forgotten, this east side neighborhood offers affordable housing a reasonable distance from some of Austin’s top destinations, but has absolutely nothing of its own to recommend it.

There’s nothing overtly wrong with Parker Lane, either, except for the overcrowded, underfunded public school, and the notable lack of green space. Extremely modest housing prices make it a fairly popular place for young families to put down roots despite these downfalls, and the proximity to St. Edwards makes students often consider it as an affordable alternative to housing closer to campus.

But sadly, Austin’s distinctive charm is entirely absent from the neighborhood, to a degree that, if you didn’t know better, you’d be sure you were no longer within the city limits. This is a middle-of-the-road kind of place in terms of affordability, safety, and convenience, but when it comes to shopping, dining, and entertainment it’s actively lacking. For some, the relative quiet and lower cost of living are worth living so far removed from the best of the action, but for many, if not most, true Austinites, while there’s nothing massively wrong with Parker Lane, it simply isn’t “Austin.”
Pros
  • Close to I-35 and 71
  • Low housing costs
Cons
  • Boring
  • Low quality education
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
2yrs+

"Not much to recommend it"

This southeast Austin neighborhood is something of a mixed bag. The commonly held generalization about Austin is that neighborhoods east of Interstate 35 are less safe and attractive than those to the west. The Parker Lane neighborhood sits just east of I-35, and it does carry the reputation of being somewhat unsafe. For this neighborhood, it means locking your doors and not walking out alone at night. Compared to dicey areas in larger cities, however, Parker Lane is pretty tame.

Housing prices are also subject to the same comparisons, but by Austin standards, Parker Lane does offer some inexpensive housing options. A modest-sized home can be found for under $100K, while a large, newly remodeled one range in the mid to high $200s. There are a variety of residents who call this area home, including retirees, young families and singles. Its proximity to St. Edwards University on the other side of I-35 means that students often choose to live here for the convenience and affordability of Parker Lane.

However, there is not much in the way of Austin’s charm and funkiness to be found in this neighborhood. It has a rather non-descript, somewhat suburban feel to it. But Parker Lane does have Mabel Davis District Park within its borders, which has a large pool and playground. Its most unique feature is the skate park, which attracts skate enthusiasts from around the city. The neighborhood is also accessible to Austin’s main attractions by way of the interstate, including downtown, the University of Texas and Lady Bird Lake.
Pros
  • Skate park at Mabel Davis District Park
  • Low housing costs
Cons
  • Sketchy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"East Side Neighborhood Without East Side Charm"

While many east side Austin neighborhoods have for long preserved a sort of grassroots charm that attracts resident looking for cheaper rent with Austin weirdness, Parker Lane offers none. Yes, the rent and selling prices of the 1980s homes are cheap, but that is due to the lack of interest in living here. The main advantage of jumping ship to these streets is the easy access to both Hwy 71 and I-35 as well as the airport, but that makes for a lot of traffic and noise. This community has one of the first skate parks in the city, but it was built on top of a dump site, which in later years leaked out and the park had to be closed, surprising since Austin prides itself on being such a clean and green city.

Most would described Parker Lane as sketchy, but like other east side neighborhoods, it lack the community spirit and Austin funk to make up for it. The only public school in the area, Linder Elementary, is notorious for being overcrowded and having few resources for the students. There are several restaurants along I-35 and E. Oltorf, but they often suffer a reputation for having the poorest quality of food that is out shined by even fast food joints. Looking at the dynamics of Parker Lane, no one would make an automatic association between the neighborhood and Austin. There are no food trailers or live music venues, no creative spaces or well kept outdoor spaces. This area can accurately be described as a forgotten project, something to which the city turns a blind eye. If moving to Austin or deciding to relocate within the city, the most common piece of advice is simply to not move to Parker Lane.
Pros
  • Close to I-35 and 71
Cons
  • Sketchy
  • Low quality education
  • Extremely dirty

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