Bill Dudley, the Patterson Homeowners Association president is reserving judgment about the change in rules for parking along Washington Avenue. "
I think residents are taking an aggressive wait and see attitude. We're going to see how it works out."
Josh Flowers is more optimistic. He owns Little J's just a few blocks away... He's well aware of the tension between bar and nightclubs and the residents.. .Even though his place has it's own parking lot across the street.. he thinks the compromise is a good deal for everyone.
"We don't exist without the neighborhood.As long as our patrons are parking in their driveways and their yards and pushing into the neighborhood.. they're not going to support us."
Starting May first.. the blue covers will come off 56 new meters stationed along Washington Avenue's entertainment district and you will be able to park on Washington. The area is up and coming. High end homes are going in and the entertainment industry is flourishing. Residents have been complaining about patrons parking in their neighborhoods and often returning to their cars drunk, loud and unruly.
The city started looking into the problem a year and a half ago and arrived at this decision in December.
" Because the frustration level people were just talking past each other. We were able to get everyone around the table and move towards a common solution." says city spokesperson Chris Newport.
This Parking Benefit District was that solution... The rough numbers are a net of 5-600- hundred thousand dollars in revenue in the first year and a half. The city will return 60-percent of that revenue from to the district for reinvestment.. Residents will get parking stickers so they don't get towed or ticketed. It's a pilot program. It can be tweaked or even abandoned along their way, but don't count on it says Dudley.
"well it's my experience with pilot programs that once it becomes part of the status quo they're really hard to move. But I think it will work out just fine."