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Archive for Friday, May 10, 2013

Editorial: Parking plans

May 10, 2013

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Pick a pair of parking plans. Let’s see what happens.

First, there’s the nettlesome situation related to accommodating the Tuesday afternoon downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market, which uses 17 spaces in the long-term city parking lot in the 800 block between Rhode Island and New Hampshire streets. A solution seems to have been worked out. Special thanks go to U.S. Bank for making available 27 spaces at Ninth and New Hampshire on these Tuesdays.

Other pieces of the solution involve better signage for the city spaces on the east edge of the Hobbs Taylor Lofts property and special dispensation for the use of long-term parking passes in the city lot on the west side of the 800 block of New Hampshire Street. Long-term passes usually are valid only at 10-hour parking spots, but the city will allow their use in the two-hour lot on Tuesdays.

As vexing as the farmers’ market parking matter was, resolving it could turn out to have been child’s play compared to the Lawrence City Commission’s decision to create what are basically private parking spaces on Edgehill Road on the east edge of Kansas University.

Although the approval is for a six-month evaluation period, it has potential implications that are sure to be scrutinized by residents of other areas of the community who also find themselves impacted by the combination of controlled access to campus, limited campus parking spaces and the price of campus parking passes.

On Edgehill, the city created a 50-foot private on-street parking space for two residences. Special permits for those spaces will be issued only to the people who live in those residences, meaning students who live in nearby fraternity and sorority houses will not be allowed to park there.

In the Oread Neighborhood, where similar jockeying for parking spots routinely occurs between students and residents, proposals for some kind of resident parking permit system have surfaced in the past. Mayor Mike Dever advocated discussing the merits of such an arrangement, but the matter hasn’t yet been placed on the city’s agenda.

Perhaps it’s time. The congestion is not going to be alleviated by doing nothing. KU most certainly needs to be at the table to help identify a solution. This is not merely a neighborhood or city issue. Maybe there’s a resolution to be found, just as there was with the farmers’ market circumstance. Here’s hoping.

Comments

gr 1 year, 7 months ago

Hope everyone remembers this at election time. Seems some people might be voted off the island.

To put it in recognizable terms of a self-appointed more-equaled rights group,

If those two residents don't like the congestion of living by an University, don't live there.

George_Braziller 1 year, 7 months ago

East Lawrence residents have the same parking problems. The neighborhood was built before the automobile so most people have to park on the street.. However, downtown employees use Rhode Island as a long-term parking lot forcing the residents to use the city parking lots if they can't find a place to park. Downtown is increasing in density but the effect on the adjacent neighborhood has never been addressed. "Not living there" isn't an option and doesn't solve the problem.

Permit parking for the residents and limiting parking to two hours for other vehicles Monday through Friday or Saturday is the solution.

George_Braziller 1 year, 7 months ago

Wilbur it's an editorial not a letter to the editor. Editorials are written by the editor of the newspaper.

grimpeur 1 year, 7 months ago

"controlled access to campus, limited campus parking spaces and the price of campus parking passes..."

There is plenty of parking on campus. More than any other Big 12 school, per capita, according to KU Parking's director. So that's not the problem. In fact, there is probably too much parking on campus.

The price of campus parking passes is too low. There is no reason KU should not be making a profit from its parking enterprise, given the captive audience. Parking pass prices are less than half what the market will bear. If higher pass prices can help reduce the number of people who drive their almost completely empty personal autos into Lawrence--whether because drivers decide to carpool to share the costs or because many of the drivers who live less than 2 miles from campus decide to walk or bike--that's a winner.

kuguardgrl13 1 year, 7 months ago

Oh yes, there's plenty of parking on campus. Try to find a spot in any of the Yellow lots on any given weekday. The dorms are a whole different issue unto themselves. Those of us who don't live on campus buy Yellow permits for their convenience. The buses don't always run on time, and they don't always run late enough for night classes or campus jobs. And of course Parking & Transit oversells permits and severely limits where student permits can be used. Of course the worst is during basketball season. Already limited parking lots get closed early before classes are even finished for the day. If you have a night class or work, good luck finding a spot. But I digress.

Just because we have parking issues on campus doesn't give us the right to affect the rest of Lawrence. Issuing permits for certain neighborhoods might convince campus to deal with the parking problems there. Greek houses should be respectful of their neighbors and either deal with the number of cars they have, or limit them in some way. Many of the Oread Neighborhood rentals warn potential tenants about the parking situation before they move in. When I lived near the stadium, we had free permits for the lot and anyone without one was towed on a game day. A solution would be for every house in certain areas to get two free permits and pay for any extras. Another would be if you want the luxury of parking in front of your house, buy a permit for a designated fee. Different neighborhoods may have different rules based on what the situation is like there. Neighborhoods near campus may benefit from the included permits. In all cases, residency must be proved.

Alceste 1 year, 7 months ago

Permit parking in congested University towns works in those times. Places like Manhattan, KS; Boulder, CO.; Ames, IA; Bloomington, IN.; Evanston, IL.; Provo, UT; Lexington, KY; Charlottesville, VA; and on and on and on.

As one writer opines above, East Lawrence suffers due to commuter parking and needs protection as well.

It's amusing how by the time a "new" idea reaches Lawrence, Kansas, it's already an "old" idea....and permit parking is just such an example: It's a time honored, working solution to a real problem.

KU has been allowed to walk away Scott Free from creating solutions to problems it creates all across the board and not just parking. Heck, Alceste recalls when KU named itself a "vehicle free campus" and those access booths went up......around and about 1972 that was. What happened? That campus isn't vehicle free anymore.

Permit parking works all across the US of A and there's no reason it can't work in Lawrence, Kansas USA. Yes, there will be a learning curve and that includes the enforcement aspect.....but it's long past due, particularly when one factors in the average size of the "car" driven today is easily 2x the size of the car the streets were built for.

http://theexpiredmeter.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/no-parking-sign.jpg

Alceste 1 year, 7 months ago

A sign example:

Works in that community......

Works in that community...... by Alceste

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