It is Saturday night and it’s party time on Lowest Greenville. The valet parkers are running full speed back from the parking lot to Dallas’ newest, hottest nightspot. A group of three young men smartly dressed and moderately intoxicated are also making their way out of the neighborhood to one of the 50 establishments that serve alcohol in the area. They have parked their late model car and three beer bottles in front of one of homes that line the residential streets off of Greenville Avenue. This scene will be replayed hundreds of times that evening until 2:00 a.m. when everyone will make their way back into the neighborhood to pick up their vehicles — unfortunately not their beer bottles. They might even decide to use the restroom before they slip back into the car and drive off into the night. Never mind that there isn’t a restroom on the residential street. One of the neighbor’s prize rose bushes apparently bears a faint resemblance to a urinal. I will spare the readers further details of what else occurs on these streets on weekend nights.
Lowest Greenville is the popular place to be these days. The challenge for the city, the residents and the business owners is how to coexist in tight quarters. In order to address some of the problems the City Council, in December, instituted a four month moratorium on major construction in the area. During that time the city completed an in-depth survey of existing land uses, permits and available parking in the area. In April the Dallas City Council passed an ordinance that established a “Resident’ s Only Parking Program.” The adoption of this ordinance allows residents of areas such as Lowest Greenville to petition to establish a zone in their neighborhood where only residents can park. This program offers an alternative to implementing “No Parking” regulations in certain areas.
In order to qualify for this program the neighborhood submits an application, together with a $50 application fee, to the city’s Transportation Department. The application must be accompanied by a petition, signed by two-thirds of the residents of the impacted block(s). City staff will then conduct a survey to determine if more than 60% of available parking is in use and if more than 20% of that parking is being used by nonresidents during the days and times identified. If all of the above criteria are met, the neighborhood is eligible for the program. No City Council action is required. There will be a charge for sign fabrication, installation and parking permits. Each residence may obtain a maximum of six parking permits for residents and temporary, single day permits may be secured for special events.
Now that the program has been established, it is probable that Lowest Greenville will be eligible to participate. It is also probable that the program will not solve all of the parking problems in the Lowest Greenville neighborhood. In areas that do qualify for the program it should be part of a comprehensive effort including the city, the residents and the businesses to improve the quality of life for everyone.
It is Saturday night and it’s party time on Lower Greenville.
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