Residents of Oread Neighborhood have chosen, for various reasons, to live in close proximity to Kansas University. They know that their area north and east of campus includes many rental properties with a high concentration of students. They know that means a certain amount of tolerance will be required on their part.
But there’s a limit.
Oread residents are well aware that football weekends are a busy time, especially when the Jayhawk team is doing well. More fans mean more demand for parking spaces near Memorial Stadium — parking spaces KU doesn’t have available — so residents have accepted having their streets parked full for blocks in all directions and having many yards close to the stadium used as parking and tailgating locations.
But, as we said, there’s a limit.
Residents probably would have overlooked portable toilets being placed in yards on game days, but having to look at those toilets dotting residential yards in their neighborhoods throughout the entire football season is too much. Residents of any other neighborhood in Lawrence wouldn’t put up with it, and Oread residents shouldn’t be any different.
Allowing tailgaters who are eating and drinking to use the bathrooms in houses where they are parked apparently isn’t an option for the people who profit from turning their houses into parking lots on game days. Those people say it’s too expensive to have portable toilets delivered and removed for every home game and that their neighbors should just be happy they’re keeping tailgaters from relieving themselves on nearby trees and bushes.
There are differences of opinion on whether that’s a good tradeoff, but the bottom line is that Oread Neighborhood residents shouldn’t have to accept either circumstance. They deserve to have visitors conduct themselves in a civilized manner and they shouldn’t be forced to have their neighborhood dotted by portable toilets for months at a time to accomplish that goal.
City officials have received one formal complaint about the toilets but haven’t figured out what to do about it. It seems like a pretty simple issue of setting a time limit on how long a portable toilet, not located on a construction site, can be parked in a residential neighborhood. If it’s for an event, a day or two ought to do. There is no justification for leaving toilets in yards for three months or more.
Oread residents have to look at this eyesore every day, but this situation also reflects poorly on the city as a whole. City officials should approve a toilet time limit and then work with KU officials to address the broader issue of parking and tailgating behavior near the stadium.