What we have here is a failure to tow

DPD unofficially estimates there were 10,000 people in / around Lowest Greenville from about 7pm to 3am, the largest crowd ever.

Blame it on the "unholy trinity" - St. Patrick's Day, falling on a Saturday, and great weather.

Thankfully, St Patrick's Day falls on a Monday next year.

Like many residents predicted when the Cage The Drunks program was created for the block party six years ago, the already-biased-towards-business-interests DPD Northeast Division finally let things collapse around them. Guess they were tired of hearing from their off-duty employers that too many patron cars were being towed every year, and that crap just had to stop.

There's something very unprofessional when you see a DPD officer wearing green beads all day nonchalantly standing by a barricade collecting his $50 an hour from the bars. And that does not count the dozens of DPD officers sitting in the command post parking lot, instead of going out on the street.

BD's sources in the neighborhood tell him that 80 - 90 cars were towed in previous years, but that number was down to almost nothing this year. A DPD supervisor told a resident they were not towing cars because DPD was trying to be considerate of the patrons interests.

Why should we care about hurting the feelings of some pissant drunk from Lewisville who was already wasted when he got here, did not care to read the NO PARKING signs and then gets towed? There's a whole bunch of neighborhood residents who spent hours assembling and putting out those signs on Thursday night who are not happy to hear that kind of garbage.

The bars have had it easy for six years - they pay for the signs and the neighborhoods scramble to assemble and install them. Maybe next year the bars should be told its their problem to install the signs, or no more party?

All the supposedly No Parking side streets - Del Mar, Concho - were full of cars close to the block party. Not one parking ticket was seen on them.

The 5800 block of Goodwin Street was parked full of cars on the No Parking side all day. The fact that the DPD Command Post was right there (at Robert E. Lee Elementary) was completely irrelevant.

One DPD officer had the cajones to lie to a neighbor by telling him there were no illegally parked cars on Goodwin, absolutely none that he could see. I guess he needs his glasses checked, cuz he missed a big-ass party float parked there.

It took a few mad neighbors, a very ticked-off City Council member Angela Hunt, and the DPD Central Chief to get the cars towed - at 7 pm.

The whole point for creating the Cage The Drunks event - for which you had to pay $3 to enter - was to keep control on the booze. No booze allowed in, no booze allowed out. Neighbors can remember in the not-so-distant past when party animals were dragging whole coolers full of their own beer to the block party. Can someone in authority tell us why hundreds of party animals were marching like lemmings south on Lower Greenville from the block party to the after-block-party carrying holiday cups full of beer and cans of beer without one DPD officer stopping them for open-container violations along the way?

Expect some changes in how St. Patrick's Day 2008 is managed. Later this year, DPD will realign its division boundaries and DPD Central will include the territory currently managed by Northeast - from Vickery to Mockingbird. DPD Central command staff were all over the party zone collecting ideas and information to be used in planning next year's event. They start getting details nailed down in November 2007.

DPD Central did a much better job of controlling the parking and crowds on the southern portion of Lower Greenville in the evening.

DPD reports towing nearly 20 cars and issuing 45 tickets for illegal parking. One neighbor reports from his property at Hope and Ross -

  • 7 vehicles illegally parked
  • 5 vehicles towed by DPD
  • 1 vehicle drove off as DPD arrived
  • 1 vehicle allowed to drive off as officer sat waiting for trucks to tow

Estimated number of cars towed from Blockbuster - 100; from Taco Cabana - 50.

Parking lots were the expected rip-off: $20 to park at Pietros during the day, and $13 to park at Whole Foods.

BD personally observed a number of small skirmishes, one really bloody nose, a collision between a low-rider and a beer shuttle cart (the cart won!), t-shirts with phrases that we can't repeat here, and a whizzette behind the house being built on my block.

Another neighbor spotted two whizzettes behind his house - while he was still in his home!

If you have incidents from your street to report, submit them to BD using the Feedback page. We'll make sure they get to the right folks at City Hall and DPD.

By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Lower Greenville