CSI Lower Greenville: The case of the (poorly) painted curbs

UPDATE - Wednesday - The City of Dallas and ONCOR have confirmed they did not paint the curbs along Prospect Avenue or Oram Street nearly two weeks ago. After determining it would cost more than $1,300 to repaint the curbs to a more neutral shade of white, the Dallas Police Department has opened a criminal mischief complaint and started an investigation to determine who painted the curbs. Details to follow...

While taking a walk on Lower Greenville Saturday evening, BD was approached by several business owners and valets. All of them had the same question: Why were the curbs on 5700 Prospect (behind Char Bar) and on 5700 Oram (along the Oncor substation) painted red last week?

Both paint jobs were done sometime between midnight Thursday, October 2nd, and the next Friday evening. On Prospect, the red curb starts at the Char Bar and ends at the property line between the last parking lot and the office buildings, or nearly 400 feet with four driveways interrupting the colors. On Oram Street, the paint runs on north side of the street from service alley to almost the corner of Matilda Avenue, and also runs the length of south side of the street next to Whisky Bar from Greenville to Hope Street.

Red curbs are usually used to indicate fire lanes on private property, with the word FIRE LANE in big white letters. But the City rarely paints a curb red unless there is a security issue involved, and always with the words FIRE LANE or NO PARKING included.

Upon further examination, it is apparent this was is not a City paint job - the application was uneven, as if painted by a brush and not a sprayer, covered the grass and splashed onto the blacktop. Lots of the material used to make paint reflect light was sprinkled all over the street. On top of everything else, it's the wrong shade of red paint.

These photos were shot on Saturday evening; the flash exaggerates the uneven quality of the paint job, making it obvious that this was done by a number of people who did not take pride in their workmanship.

BD watched as dozens of cars attempted to park on the street by the red curbs, then drove away. It's clear why someone would want a NO PARKING zone, because it removes at least ten free parking spaces just yards away from Lower Greenville and makes more money for self-parking. It also takes away legitimate daytime parking spaces from Char-Bar. On Oram Street, it makes no difference since the north side of the street has been a NO PARKING zone for years. All curbs are considered public right of way belonging to the City of Dallas and private citizens cannot take it upon themselves to paint the curbs in any color they desire.

These photos were shot on Sunday afternoon, showing the painted curbs on both Prospect and Oram Streets

The valets, business operators and property owners in the area deny having anything to do with this mess and in fact are trying to keep the spaces free for as long as possible.

Another theory - Oncor operates a substation on the southern side of the block (along Oram). Could this be another means of keeping vehicles away from the substation perimeter?? If so, why not close down all the parking lots?

The DPD was notified of the paint job. A criminal complaint will probably be opened, due to the high value of damage to public property and the expense required to remove the paint.

By Avi S. Adelman under Crimewatch , Lower Greenville