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Archive for Tuesday, May 10, 1994

DETAILS ELUSIVE IN OREAD PERMIT-PARKING PLAN

May 10, 1994

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Questions linger as city commissioners consider imposing a permit-parking system in the Oread neighborhood.

OREAD PARKING

An Oread Neighborhood Assn. proposal would restrict parking in the neighborhood to residents and approved visitors between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. weekdays.

Residents could buy permits for $10 a year. Each permit holder could buy one reusable visitor permit.

Permits would be required for vehicles parking on the street in the area bordered by Ninth, 14th, Maine and Tennessee streets, excluding Kansas University property.

Fines would range from $25 to $100 for each violation.

A proposal to push commuter parkers from Oread neighborhood streets is worth pursuing, but only if area residents agree to buy parking permits, a city commissioner said Monday.

Commissioner John Nalbandian, still smarting from an "upsurge" of protest against a sidewalks project in southeast Lawrence, said the Oread Neighborhood Assn.'s request for permit parking needed more than the association's backing.

"If you can get 51 percent of the owners to say that this is a good idea, then I'd be in favor of it," Nalbandian said. "I think the details could be worked out."

The proposal's details, however, proved to be the sticking point for other commissioners. During a study session Monday afternoon, they wondered if it was feasible to ask Oread residents to pay $10 a year for permits to park on the streets outside their homes.

Among the unanswered questions raised Monday: How much would it cost to operate a permit program? Could police properly enforce it? How many people would buy permits? Do Oread residents support the proposal? Would commuters simply park in other neighborhoods?

"I don't think we know what we're talking about right now," Commissioner Doug Compton said.

Oread residents have discussed the neighborhood's parking problems for at least six years, said Kyle Thompson, ONA president. The main problem: Kansas University students, faculty and staff snatching up the neighborhood's free spaces instead of buying permits for KU's lots.

To push commuters back onto campus, he said, the neighborhood association is asking the city to sell permits, allowing residents to park on the streets from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays.

"This seems like the only solution that we could really come up with," Thompson said.

Mayor Jo Andersen asked neighborhood representatives to continue refining the proposal while working with city staff.

No timetable was set, although neighborhood officials hope to have a system in place for the beginning of KU's fall semester.

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