St. Patrick’s Day on Greenville Ave. 2009

St. Patrick’s Day on Lower Greenville went better than last year. I’ve got pics from the festivities, as well as (wait for it) Dallas’ Official 2009 St. Patrick’s Day Music Video Montage. Enjoy.

There are three stages of St. Patrick’s Day: the parade on upper Greenville, the special street event party south of Mockingbird, then the free-for-all bar-fest on Lower Greenville.

I spent the early afternoon checking out the post-parade route for clean-up and talking with officers about the event. Last year, I was really frustrated that the parade route was strewn with trash and litter, with no effort to clean up during the event. I was also frustrated with how long it took to get the route cleaned up after the parade was over. This year, parade organizers hired a new clean-up crew, and working in conjunction with a City Sanitation truck, did a great job cleaning up during and after the parade. (Next year, we need clean-up crews working from both ends; the intersection at University still had too much trash. Although bins lined the street, and extra few bins at the intersection would have helped.)

The increased number of officers at the parade also kept arrests to a minimum (one for public intoxication — go figure).

Once the parade was over, parade-goers headed south along Greenville towards the special event street party. My pet peeve last year was all the trash they were leaving in their wake. This year was MUCH cleaner, with trash bins along part of the route (next year we need trash bins from Mockingbird to the party). The bins were regularly emptied, which made a huge difference.

More portolets were a welcomed addition. The crowd appeared to me to be larger than last year, but Steve of Stan’s Blue Note said he thought there were fewer attendees. Last year, I checked out the festivities on my bike, but it was a little chilly this year, so I drove the streets instead. I visited the command center at Lee Elementary, then checked out the street party from the roof of Stan’s Blue Note.

I fielded calls throughout the day and tried to put out fires and they came up (figuratively). There was a problem on McCommas where someone had stolen the no-parking signs, people parked there, signs were replaced, then about 5 cars were towed. If there were vehicles towed from the 5700-5800 blocks between 12:25 and 1:15 they can call the Auto Pound at 214-670-5116 ask for Request for Reimbursement.

I should point out, as a requirement for their special event permit, the bars and restaurants who put on the special event party (where the streets are closed off) have to hire X number of police, put out Y number of portolets, place and empty trash bins throughout the neighborhood, etc. The bars on Lower Greenville south of Belmont do none of that. They just rake in the dough, even though their party is usually much more disruptive and problematic. But because they don’t actually close down the streets, they aren’t required to get a special event permit, and the city can’t require them to pay for more police, etc., etc.

Late Saturday night, I checked out Lower Greenville, where revelers went after the street party. It was actually much smaller than last year; it just looked like a busy Saturday.

Kudos to Chief Golbeck and Chief Lawrence, and all their officers who worked the event. Also, thanks to the rest of our City of Dallas team — special events, sanitation, code, parking. They did an outstanding job. Lastly, a huge thanks to the neighborhood leaders who worked together with Chief Golbeck and me to try to limit the impact of the event on the neighborhoods. We’ll debrief after the council returns from recess and discuss what worked and what didn’t.