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Parking on front lawns likely to remain illegal

Parking cars on front lawns for University of Kentucky home football games will probably continue to be illegal for the entire season.

Urban County Councilman David Stevens plans to withdraw an amendment that would have allowed vehicle parking on lawns on the days of home football games.

Many neighborhood residents are upset about the idea of making lawn parking on game days legal, Stevens said. "The feeling from the neighborhoods is that UK and the city is out to do them in. We're actually trying to help them."

In addition to withdrawing the amendment, Stevens plans to refer the issue to the council's services committee and the city's town and gown commission for further study.

"We can go ahead and let them see what happens this year," Stevens said.

Parking on front yards is illegal in Lexington, but police have allowed it on game days in previous years due to manpower issues.

After years of looking the other way, the city announced last month that cars parked on front yards will be ticketed as part of an increased enforcement effort on game days. In addition to officers on traffic control, at least 36 police officers and two code enforcement officers will be patrolling neighborhood streets on game days.

In response, Stevens proposed the amendment that would make it legal to park on front yards during home football game days each year.

The amendment is scheduled for first reading at Thursday's council meeting. It takes two official council readings for final approval.

Neighbors who have contacted Stevens are complaining about drunken drivers rather than parking on the front yard, Stevens said. "But they kind of associate this (lawn parking) with that and they think that allowing parking on the front yard will create a worse neighborhood situation."

The environment in neighborhoods on game days would actually improve if police officers could focus on chasing drunk drivers instead of ticketing vehicles parked on yards, Stevens said.