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St Pats 2013

posted Mar 28, 2013, 8:53 PM by Mark Rieves   [ updated Mar 28, 2013, 8:54 PM ]

Once again, the weather for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and Greenville Avenue street party event was perfect and the crowds were as large and green as ever.  The “Block Party” that adjoins our neighborhood’s section of Greenville Avenue seemed to be steady and a little calmer this year, which continued the trend of yearly incremental improvements.

However, while the “Terilli’s Strip” block party was under control, such was not the case a few streets to the north on Greenville all the way to Mockingbird.  Even though Greenville was not barricaded, operation of a car was impossible because the street was packed with people fully enjoying the no-admission-fee BYOB opportunity.  Along with this gridlock also came the resulting trash, which was still being cleaned up by crews into the afternoon on Sunday.

But why would the streets surrounding the block party be clean while some of the neighborhood streets further out were not?  The Greenville Commerce Association (the group of Greenville Avenue business between Vanderbilt and Vickery that host the block party) must get a permit from the city.  In order to get that permit, in addition to paying for onsite security and extra police both in and outside of the block party, they also have to pay for trash pickup that extends well outside of the official block party area.  Thus, those streets are clean.  Outside of that area, where there is no dedicated money – or where unplanned BYOB block parties occur - you see the trash.  

This trash issue has been brought up many times in the past and it is something that we will address with our sister neighborhood associations yet again in 2014.  The question is always about who should pay.  The Greenville Commerce Association (GCA) argues that businesses to our north (Snuffers, Granada, etc.) and to our south (the “Lowest Greenville Avenue” businesses south of Belmont) also profit from this event and that they attract patrons who don’t attend the block party. Yet they do not have to participate in the cleanup and why should GCA pay for them too?  Those outside businesses of course are not going to volunteer to pay for something that they currently get for free.  One solution might be to require them to get a permit from the city too, but then of course they’d want their own block party...  which the neighborhoods would object too…  but we don’t like the trash either and this event is not going away anytime soon...

So the controversy will continue.  It wouldn't be St Pats on Lowest Greenville Avenue without it. 

And for those of you who like numbers, here are the final crime numbers reported by Lieutenant Kimberly Owens for all incidents south of Mockingbird, from St Pat’s Saturday morning through the end of St Pat’s night (note: this is not just the Block Party between Vanderbilt and Vickery)::

  • Calls – 55 (47 in 2012)
  • Public Intoxication – 36 (29 in 2012)
  • DWI - 1
  • Investigative Arrest – 2 (8 in 2012)
  • Misdemeanor Warrants - 1
  • Citations – 7
  • Parking Citations – 243 (361 in 2012)
  • Vehicles Towed – 19 (17 in 2012)

Mark Rieves, VPNA President