Another blow to Greek Row: Neighbors petition to restrict parking

The war between the greeks and their neighbors continues as the residents petition to restrict parking access in the surrounding streets.

“To us this isn’t Greek row, this is where we live,” said Beverly Nelson, resident on Butler Avenue. “We rarely have complaints about what’s happening in the (greek) houses, it’s what is happening in front of our houses.”

Nelson said greeks have vandalized her home, urinated on her yard, blocked her driveway and have had sex on her walkway.

As a result, area residents living on Butler and Wolcott Street who have had similar experiences with the greeks are attempting to secede from Residential Area Two and join Area Nine.

If the city recognizes the residents’ request, greeks with Area Two permits would be limited to parking in front of the fraternity and sorority houses in the area of 100 South and Wolcott.

The new regulations would allow only three to four greek residents to park in the neighborhood despite the fact that between 10 to 25 students live in the houses at one time.

Fraternity and sorority members would then be forced to purchase U passes and park in nearby lots.

“I live in the house, I should be able to park on the street,” said Allison Fresques, member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. “Parking at the U is already a problem and it’s an added expense when you are already paying to live in a house.”

Nelson sees the greek houses as being under the same as category as boarding houses or apartment complexes. Under zoning regulations, parking must be provided and the neighborhood cannot be relied on.

“Their houses should not be a zoning exception,” Nelson said.

The department of transportation is working to find a solution to the petition, but processing is currently stalled because of the resignation of Gordon Hate, the transportation engineer working on the project.

“The new person will have to come in a figure this thing out,” Hate said.

The thought of having to park farther away from their homes has many sorority women concerned over their safety when walking at night.

The closest parking lots to Greek Row are the Kennecott and Naval Science lots. Neither has an emergency phone to contact police, but Sgt. Lynn Rohland, of campus police has recommended they be put in.

Eight registered sex offenders reside within a 1-mile radius of the Greek Row, and about once a year the sororities have a problem with a peeping tom, said Lori McDonald, U Greek adviser.

“We’ve had no problems so far this year in that area,” Rohland said. “If someone has a (safety) concern, they should come talk to me and we can work on a solution.”

Nelson agrees women walking alone at night can be “dangerous,” but believes that the safety concern is “bunk” and that it is more dangerous to park on Butler than in the U parking lots.

“There have been more rapes on Butler Avenue than at the Kennecott parking lot or at the U circle,” Nelson said.

McDonald is working on a solution to the parking situation, but Nelson and her neighbors do not believe the U will find one.

“We went through that whole mediation process and nothing happened,” Nelson said. “We are not asking the U to do anything anymore.”

While efforts have been made to resolve the conflict over the years via proposed solutions from both sides, nothing has been accomplished.

McDonald explained that in order for any new regulations to pass there will have to be many open forums and the city council would have to vote in the changes.

“What concerns me is more students purchasing passes at U lots will not solve the problem,” McDonald said.

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