Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Yet another Lower Greenville street goes Resident Parking Only
This is the second RPO zone within the boundaries of Lower Greenville NA.
In the war between restaurant patrons looking for free parking spots in residential areas, and homeowners tired of cleaning up the trash or not being able to get into their own driveways, put another X in the win column for homeowners.
The 5700 block of Vickery Boulevard went Resident Parking Only with the installation of five RPO signs on Tuesday afternoon. The RPO zone, #34, covers the south side of the street from Greenville Avenue behind the bank parking lot to the end of the block at Matilda. The process started nearly three months ago, when one property owner, tired not only of the rowdy interlopers parking on his street but the city's slow response to complaints about Terilli's valets using the empty residential lots for illegal parking and the alley behind his house as a private road just for them, circulated an RPO petition to his neighbors. Within a week, nearly every homeowner on the street signed the paperwork. He paid the nearly $300 expense for the signs out of his own pocket.
Above is a photo of patron cars parked by Terilli's valet illegally blocking the service alley between 5700 Vickery and 5700 Llano on May 19. According to the resident who took these photos, the valet refused to move the patron cars when his wife attempted to go down the driveway to their garage because he was "too busy at the restaurant." Parking Enforcement paid a visit to Terilli's (again) and said they would suspend the valet permit in order to prevent problems like this from happening again.
The fence around this parking lot was removed in early March. After withering criticism from residents, and repeated warnings from Code Compliance that each car on the parking lot would get a ticket as well as the property owner, a new fence was installed a few weeks ago. But the valets, who think they have bigger balls than the city, continue to use the residential driveway on the triplex to return cars to their customers: They go up the service alley, through the residential driveway, and make a left on Vickery to get back to the restaurant.
Getting the RPO approved was another problem. The city's RPO manager, Kerry Elder, giving in to intense pressure to stop RPOs anywhere near restaurants after they were installed in the Bishop Arts district earlier this year, refused to approve the RPO, citing narrow interpretations of rules never used previously under similar conditions. Only after the residents appealed to city staff higher up the food chain and called BS on the denials, were the RPO signs approved. Similar issues were cited in removing at least one RPO zone in the Bishop Arts just weeks after installation, and trying to deny another. Not to be dissuaded, residents around Bishop Arts are filing for at least one new RPO zone every two weeks, which is really stressing Elder out.
The Vickery Boulevard RPO is the third zone in the Middle Greenville area. RPO Zone #1 was installed on the 5800 block of Vickery way back in 1998, and RPO Zone #33 was installed on the 5800 block of Llano in early March 2012. Residents on other streets in the area, which have never experienced the heavy bar parking issues Llano and Vickery dealt with, are now organizing their own RPO petitions. If all the residents on all the streets that have contacted BD through the RPO website get their paperwork organized, this section of Greenville Avenue could have as many as six RPO streets in the next year.
This is also the second RPO zone within the boundaries of Lower Greenville NA. LGNA consistently opposes RPO because it might piss off the same restaurants that pay 30 pieces of silver to install No Parking signs in the neighborhood before the St. Patrick's Day beer drinking party or give them free food for their meetings. BD can just imagine the calls going on now between the owners of the restaurants and LGNA Board members – not pretty.
City Council Member Angela Hunt is working to kill RPO in the Uptown area just as RPO rebounds in Lowest Greenville. According to documents released a few weeks ago (documents City Staff claimed did not exist) future RPOs in Uptown (and eventually the entire city) may need the approval of area businesses (the same ones generating the non-residential parking issues) before being approved by the city no matter how many residents beg for help. These proposals were developed by a phony task force created by Hunt to mask her intent to kill off RPO without her fingerprints showing up.
Instead of letting the residents make the decision to have or not have RPO, outside factors like coordinating RPO hours to benefit the bars/restaurants, eliminate RPO where the residential properties have off-street parking (make their guests pay for parking??) and price RPO fees based on property values (usually applied to valet services, an average RPO would now cost $800 per parking space per year, instead of $500 average one-time fee for an entire street). In plain English, kill off any RPO urgings by pricing them out of the affordable fees they have now. Any changes in RPO would require approval by the entire City Council, as well as significant revisions in the State-Thomas Uptown Public Development District ordinance.
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