Letters from the week of December 6, 2001

Traffic Slam 

Letters from the week of December 6, 2001

Traffic Slam
Pain in the grass: I found it ironic that in the November 15 issue, you had two articles regarding parking problems: Casey Logan's article about Solomon's Porch ("Love Thy Neighbor") and Andrew Miller's "Around Hear" about the Madrid Theatre. On one hand, the Pitch seemed very critical toward a church (whose parking probably bothers the neighbors once or twice a week), and then was favorable toward a dance club whose parking problems disrupt families' lives five to six times a week.

I am one of those who cannot even park in front of their own house. I have had to pick up the trash, run Madrid patrons off my property as they were urinating and watch as one of their patrons actually hit my car and then drove off. We do not have a problem with the renovations done at the Madrid, but there should be no way that they be allowed to have the number of people in that establishment with 140 parking spaces (which are not full). The lot that was required to be put in next to the building is used as employee parking. Madrid owner Kerry Duffin says we shouldn't mind our guests having to walk a half block; we wish we could get within a half mile of our own house. That was the case this last Friday and Saturday nights. Don't condemn those whose lives are severely disrupted by this establishment.
David Keener
Kansas City, Missouri


There goes the neighborhood: For three long years, the Old Hyde Park Historic District told Kerry Duffin there wasn't enough parking. Did he care? Apparently not. We all have to thank the BZA for not abiding by their own ordinances.

We never harass concertgoers, because it's not their fault for what Kerry Duffin is doing to our neighborhood. When I was videotaping during the Puddle of Mudd concert, I noticed people in line going to the concert were drinking open containers of beer. Isn't there an ordinance on open containers of beer? Only when the police feel like enforcing the ordinance. We never talk to the concertgoers; they would come up to us, saying we are harassing them by videotaping them. Do people ever notice wherever you go, there are cameras in stores videotaping you? We tape for hard proof of the Madrid's numerous and constant infractions. This way, City Hall cannot deny the problems there.

The Puddle of Mudd concert was sold out and also went over its 720 occupancy. We have it on tape; it was 987. Another time, I was videotaping in early fall, and there were young adults drinking beer in front of the Conoco station. That same night, seven young adults were drinking beer and sitting in a neighbor's yard, and one asked me, as I videotaped, if I wanted to see his penis. Even though there was a security staff on the corner, they said nothing to them about drinking beer on private property.

If the city would follow their own ordinances, the Madrid Theatre wouldn't be here. Thank you, City Hall.
Howard Carson
Kansas City, Missouri


Nowhere to Hyde: Andrew Miller's one-sided piece concerning the Madrid Theatre was insulting to the Old Hyde Park neighborhood. Miller never even called the neighborhood association to ask for our point of view.

Old Hyde Park residents enjoy living near the "pulse of the city" and have a great relationship with most of the businesses along Main Street. But we do not feel required to tolerate hundreds of intoxicated concertgoers who force us to park blocks from our homes, who throw trash, who heave vomit and who urinate in our yards.

Kerry Duffin was quoted stating that "Main Street was here first" and that "if we want a quiet tree-lined street with no people parking on it we should move to Johnson County." The residential buildings actually predate the commercial buildings by at least fifteen years. Midtown Main Street was largely residential until the 1920s. I'm not suggesting it return to that condition; I am suggesting that the Madrid needs to operate in a way that is respectful of the historic residential community. The rock concert hall/nightclub usage of the Madrid is not a good fit for its location. Before Mr. Duffin put a dime in the place, the neighborhood association tried to tell him that, but he wouldn't listen.

Those of us who live in Old Hyde Park have tremendous amounts of time, money and energy invested in its resurgence. The restoration of the neighborhood began long before Mr. Duffin so opportunistically came upon the Madrid and proceeded to shove his "dream" down our throats.
John Gladeau
President, Old Hyde Park Historic District Inc.
Kansas City, Missouri

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