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.