Permit parking is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to ensure that Oread residents can park within shouting distance of their homes and apartments, a neighborhood official said.
Kyle Thompson, president of the Oread Neighborhood Assn., said the city should implement a new parking strategy for the neighborhood, north and east of Kansas University, by the beginning of the fall semester.
"Our main focus is just to force the faculty and students and staff of KU up to their own parking lots," Thompson said. "It's not aimed at stopping people from going to bridge clubs."
The process, already five years in the making, formally enters the city hall arena Tuesday night, when Thompson and other neighborhood representatives will pitch their idea for unclogging Oread curbsides.
Specifically, the proposal calls for the city to sell $10 annual parking permits for residents to use weekday mornings for parking between Ninth and 14th streets, and Maine and Tennessee streets.
The association's parking studies have shown the area's streets to be overrun with so-called "commuter" parkers, the campus-drawn drivers who favor Oread's free-parking streets to KU's permit-regulated lots.
Commissioner Bob Moody said he understands Oread residents' complaints but wonders what effect permits would have on other neighborhoods. If people can't park on Oread streets, he figures, what's going to stop them from moving to University Place neighborhood?
"That's just one piece of the puzzle," Moody said. "There's any number of pieces of the puzzle in this situation."
Enforcement is another question mark. Rod Bremby, assistant city manager, said the ticketing responsibilities likely would fall on the city's police officers, who are plenty busy already.
Thompson said one police sweep of the newly permitted areas would solve most problems by assessing fines of $25 to $100. KU parking permits cost $32 to $53 a semester.
"That's what this is all about: forcing all those cars off our streets and into where they're supposed to be," said Sue Kapfer, a member of the association's board of directors and parking subcommittee.
City commissioners will formally receive the proposal during Tuesday night's meeting, which begins at 6:35 in the city commission meeting room at city hall, Sixth and Massachusetts.
Commissioners already have scheduled a study session for 4 p.m. May 9, to discuss the plan in more detail.
Other cities already have made moves to help residents near college campuses. Manhattan, Eugene, Ore., and St. Paul, Minn., have permit systems in place.
"We're not going off the deep end here," Thompson said.