Sometimes the city moves so slowly you can hardly detect any motion at all. Changing Greene Street from a one-way, two-way, one-way street into a two-way street would be a good example.

And other times, the city zips right along.

The people in Southside neighborhood that have been complaining about parking for years.  Up until January it would have been in the Greene Street category – lots of talk and promises but no action.

But at the Jan. 3 meeting, the City Council got to root of the problem, which was that the area didn’t qualify for permitted parking under the current city ordinance.

Director of the Greensboro Department of Transportation Hanna Cockburn told the City Council that the parking issues in Southside couldn’t be addressed with permitted parking under the city ordinance.

Councilmember Goldie Wells said that if nothing could be done because of the ordinances then the ordinances needed to be changed. 

Wells said, “So something else has to be done and that is up to us.”

She added, “We are going to have to change the process and we are going to have to look at what is going to work for the business owners and the residents.”

Councilmember Sharon Hightower asked, “How quickly can we look at this ordinance and make these changes?”

Councilmember Yvonne Johnson said, “You ought to do it as quickly as possible.”

At the Feb. 15 meeting, the Greensboro City Council approved the ordinance amendments that will allow permitted parking in areas zoned traditional neighborhood, which includes the Southside area.  

For city staff to get marching orders from councilmembers on Jan. 4 and come back with an ordinance amendment for approval on Feb. 15 is moving at lightning speed.  No public hearings, no stakeholder meetings, no focus groups, no ad hoc committees – the city staff got direction from the City Council and took action.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if that happened more often?

In fact, wouldn’t it be interesting if that happened with Greene Street? But that is probably a bridge too far.