DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) ––Dallasites know them by name: Greenville Avenue, Oak Lawn, Deep Ellum, Knox-Henderson, Uptown and Bishop Arts.
But neighbors and business owners in five of the six entertainment districts find themselves in a parking predicament.
“There is tension and it’s just a matter of trying to find the right balance between the fact that this is a residential area, but it’s also a club zone,” explained Gregg Smith.
Smith lives in the Oak Lawn neighborhood and says parking is getting progressively worse. After “Resident Parking Only” streets were established in Oak Lawn, nearby bar owners also started feeling the parking pinch.
A similar battle is being fought in the Bishop Arts District after “Resident Parking Only” signs went up last February. Bishop Arts is credited for revitalizing an Oak Cliff neighborhood.
However, success is now making it hard for neighbors and merchants to coexist. “It’s kind of a Catch 22 situation because we want more business and we want more people to come down,” explained R.J. Ross. “We also want to accommodate them as far as parking goes,” added the bartender for the Whitehall Exchange.
Resident Parking Only or RPOs started in the Greenville Avenue district several years ago, after neighbors got sick and tired of strange cars lining their streets; leaving them no place to park.
Today, RPOs can be found in five of the six entertainment districts, including Knox-Henderson and Uptown.
Not all neighbors think RPOs are the way go. Some of them worry that it will only drive visitors and business away from their neighborhoods.
“I actually kind of like having the dynamics of visitors coming down here,” said Todd Thelen. “If you had the same people all of the time, it would be a little bit boring,” added the Uptown resident.
Deep Ellum is the only entertainment district that does not have “Resident Parking Only” streets. CBS 11 contacted the city of Dallas and a spokesman said the city will only grant RPOs to neighborhoods that can prove there is a need and that strict guidelines must be met before the signs are set up.