Originally created 05/12/05

Students could lose street parking rights



The number of students parking along the streets near Evans High School has grown so much that officials are considering a permit system to help neighborhood residents.

"Kids, sometimes being inconsiderate, are parking in front of mailboxes and garbage cans where the trash man can't come by and the mailman can't deliver," Principal Don Brigdon said. "It's not that many of them parking out there, but it's enough to aggravate these neighborhood folks."

Mr. Brigdon said he has received several complaints, but he has no legal recourse to force students to use the school's parking lot.

"I don't know what else we can do," he said. "These are kids that either refuse to buy a parking permit or have had them suspended for whatever reason."

Now, though, county officials are considering a change that aims to reduce the students' neighborhood parking. The answer? A residential parking permit or decal.

"It's a problem in the community, and we're trying to find a solution to the problems that are created by this type of activity," county Engineer Jim Leiper said.

Mr. Leiper said his department is considering the possibility of issuing residents of neighborhoods near Evans High a parking decal or paper permit that could hang from the rearview mirror of a car, allowing only residents or their visitors to park in the road. He said extra decals or permits could be issued for visitors.

Already, he said, some neighborhood roads near Lakeside High School have no-parking signs posted because of similar student parking problems in the past. He said the only problem with having no-parking signs is they also prohibit neighborhood residents, or their visitors, from parking in the street.

"What we would look to do is convert those (no-parking signs) to this same type of permit system," Mr. Leiper said.

He said the idea of issuing a parking permit could be used near other schools in the county and other areas if the need arises.

"If we do happen to end up with problems (elsewhere), it would be a good tool to use to solve the problem," he said.

However, he said, he doesn't foresee any future problems occurring near Evans High if a residential parking permit or decal is approved for nearby neighborhoods.

Evans High senior Alex Golovan said she used to park in the Evanston neighborhood behind her school but now carpools with friends who have a school parking permit.

"I can't get a parking spot at Evans. When I tried to they said it was too late in the year," she said.

Currently, a student parking permit at Evans High costs $10. That fee will increase to $15 for the 2005-06 school year. Ms. Golovan said she tried to get a student parking permit in February.

"There are 10 spots in the back row where I used to park by the horticulture room," she said. "They told me I couldn't park there anymore and I had to get a parking pass. When I went to get one, they told me it was too late in the year to get a parking pass. That's when I had to park in Evanston."

Reach Preston Sparks or Donnie Fetter at 868-1222 or ccchron@augustachronicle.com.