The battle over residential parking moves to Henderson Avenue

Updated July 2 - After a meeting between the property owner's attorney, neighborhood association leaders and business owners, a temporary compromise was put into place. Details after the jump

BD made the mistake of driving on Henderson Avenue about 11pm on Saturday night. Then he decided to compound the error by going around that neighborhood to see how bad the parking really is on the residential streets.

Trust me, when people say Henderson is what Lowest Greenville was ten years ago, they are also talking about the parking issues. Every side street for at least two blocks out was packed with patron cars. A few valets were spied parking customer cars on the residential streets, but we could not stop to grab parking tickets off the windshields. BD would have sworn he was back on the 2000 block of Summit Avenue in 1998, when the battle for residential parking spaces was in full rage.

July 2, 2010 Update - Temporary compromise achieved at stakeholders meeting

After a meeting between Henderson Avenue stakeholders, including the attorney for the property owners, the Dallas Police Department, Code Compliance, business owners and neighborhood association leaders, a temporary compromise was announced.

Some of the key points include

Re-opening the Bonham Elementary School parking lot for valet parking services

An agreement to secure proper permits for parking lots created out of empty lots, including meeting requirements for lighting, landscaping and zoning

Free valet parking for customers at Henderson Avenue businesses between Ross and Belmont Avenue

The president of the Henderson Neighborhood Association, Evan Beattie, posted this summary on the DMN East Dallas blog on Thursday

Valet parking for all of the restaurants and bars on Henderson southeast of Belmont is now FREE, and should stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Some of the recent changes in how the valet parking is configured (including a consolidated valet stand for J Blacks, Neighborhood Services, Capital Pub and all of the restaurants next to Sushi Axiom) should help alleviate the issues we have had with lines of cars waiting to valet park blocking Henderson Avenue around the intersection of Capitol and Henderson. The valets can stack up over 40 cars in front of Sushi Axiom at a time without blocking traffic on Henderson, which will probably solve most of the traffic problems in this area.

I think we will have a bit of a learning curve as people figure out the new valet parking system in the coming weeks, but I'm optimistic that these changes will encourage people to park in the FREE valet parking on Henderson, rather than parking several blocks away in the residential neighborhood.

In my opinion, the neighborhood is unquestionably better off than it was five years ago with the addition of many great new restaurants, but we are going to experience some growing pains, and hopefully we can continue to work with the commercial land owners and merchants to find solutions to the issues that arise which will work for everyone!

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Just like Lowest Greenville residents demanded - and got - ten years ago, many of the narrower streets around Henderson Avenue that nobody paid attention to before are now posted as one-side no parking at the request of the Dallas Fire/Rescue and Dallas Police Department. If you can't park a full firetruck on the street without one of those big balanacing pads hitting a car, it's gonna go one-side no parking.

And just like our neighborhood did, the residents are considering bringing in Resident Parking Only on many streets. The BelmontNA has offered its experience with the RPO process to any resident or neighborhood association that needs it.

The same arguments against RPO and parking controls we heard ten years ago are still being used today. The D Magazine Frontburner blog touched this third-rail topic on Friday afternoon. My favorite comment is where the blogger writes -

Anti-development neighborhood “activists” are currently using that (no parking on unimproved surfaces) code to disrupt valet parking arrangements for the new establishments on Henderson Avenue.

As in, OMIGOD, the residents have the unmitigated chutzpah to demand safe and quiet streets take priority over bar/restaurant parking. Watch for the You should have looked before you moved in comments - which are funny when you realize there was absolutely nothing of any value on Henderson until a few years ago. Maybe the bars/restaurants should have looked before they moved in??? Maybe the valets on Henderson (and Greenville) should stop charging $30 or more for a space so their customers can afford to spend more in the restaurants?

At the Glencoe Park NA meeting, DPD officials noted they are having a come to Jesus meeting with the valet operator (one company for the whole area, just like Lowest Greenville) on the issues of parking on unimproved surfaces, unapproved parking lots (eg Newflower) and other violations. In the next few weeks, DPD will bring in lots of tow trucks and remove any vehicle parked illegally faster than you can say, Hook em up!

By Avi S. Adelman under Neighborhoods , Safe streets