Want Permit Parking on Your Street? How Kinney Avenue Pulled It Off
The Austin Post welcomes posts from community members. Here, a neighbor describes the process of getting permit parking on Kinney Avenue.
On January 6, 2012, I applied for a Residential Permit Parking (RPP) program for the two blocks of Kinney Avenue closest to South Lamar for the hours of 5 p.m. to midnight, seven days a week. With the opening of restaurants and bars near Kinney Avenue along South Lamar it has reached the point where our end of Kinney Avenue is on most nights filled with parked cars, making the area congested and at times dangerous. Our neighbors on Oxford Avenue (one street to the south) have had residential parking for two years and it has greatly improved conditions on their blocks.
I received the necessary forms from the Transportation Department on March 3rd, and I was required to seek signatures for the 20 properties along Kinney identified in the petition. Getting signatures in favor of a RPP was not a problem. Of the 20 properties, I was able to get in touch with 16 residents and secured “yes” signatures from all 16, which easily put us above the 60% threshold required by the City of Austin. At the end of May I posted signs along Kinney Avenue notifying all passersby that the street is being considered for a residential permit parking zone. I also delivered notices to businesses bordering our street informing them that the RPP application would be reviewed at the June 11 meeting of the Zilker Neighborhood Association (ZNA) Executive Committee. At that meeting the executive committee voted to support the petition. Representatives of the Black Sheep Lodge restaurant attended the meeting and expressed support for the RPP. At some point in this process the City of Austin validated our petition by conducting a field check of parking conditions on our street during the hours specified in our petition. We had no problems proving that parking on this section of the street had become a problem.
Kinney Avenue is just over there to the right. (Photo courtesy ret0dd on Flickr.)
Once I collected all the necessary signatures, I delivered them to Mario Porras (the City of Austin transportation staffer who has been guiding me through the process). On July 11th, I received a letter from Mario informing me that the petition for the installation of Residential Permit Parking on Kinney Avenue had been approved and that signage should be installed shortly.
This probably makes one wonder if applying for a RPP was worth the effort and whether the RPP will truly improve the quality of life of residents on the Lamar side of Kinney Avenue. We realize that we are on the edge of an increasingly dense central city. We fully expect traffic to increase on South Lamar as a result of more apartment dwellers and more bars and restaurants. I also must point out that we enjoy having these establishments within walking distance of our homes.
However, we think the RPP will help in two ways. First, by limiting parking to residents the noise at night from slamming car doors, car alarms and people talking loudly should be reduced greatly. Secondly, congested streets make it harder for us to park. I’ve had my driveway completely blocked to the point where I had to call the police and have the car towed so that I could get out of my driveway. My neighbor across the street has had to have cars towed twice in the last year for the same reason. Additionally, almost all driveways in our area are narrow, so when all street parking is occupied it necessitates a lot of car moving for households with two vehicles.
As of August 3rd, there are spray paint marks on the street indicating where the signage will go but no signage. We do not have the RPP stickers and window hangers yet but hope to get those as soon as the signs are posted.
Thanks to Mario Porras of the Austin Transportation Department and the businesses that have been supportive of our efforts.