Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Friction between fair, Phoenix neighbors continues to rise

[Source: Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] -- Three weeks out of the year a steady stream of trucks, SUVs and family sedans cruise up and down the streets of the Villa Verde Historic District in central Phoenix. Since the Arizona State Fair started Oct. 12, residents with orange traffic flags, flashlights and handmade signs have waved down drivers, selling spots on their fading Bermuda lawns for $3 to $20 each. "I need cheap parking," said Estee Hughes, of Phoenix, as she drove her silver Saturn onto Ed Franklin's lawn. "It's ridiculous. We drove around. Everyone's charging $15, $20." Hughes gave Franklin $7 and with her three daughters in tow, walked a few blocks to the entrance of the Arizona Exposition and State Fair park. The fairgrounds at 19th Avenue and McDowell Road, has 3,300 spaces and charges $12 per vehicle. That isn't enough on site parking for the tens of thousands of fairgoers. So, since the late 1920s, residents on four streets tucked between 19th and 20th avenues, have made lemonade out of lemons --crowds, car fumes, pedicabs and late-night noise - by selling parking on their lawns. But residents of the 110 homes in the neighborhood are at odds over parking during the three-week fair and have complained to the city.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Arizona Republic.]