The decision of walking or driving to class due to the fear of losing a spot, driving laps around the Greek parking lot until someone else leaves or parking in the overflow lot and waiting for the bus are common occurrences, but another way students are parking is starting to cause issues off campus, according to homeowners.
The neighborhoods surrounding TCU have been tied to the school since its move to Fort Worth. The relationship is starting to turn sour as of late, as a recent email from TCU and the Fort Worth Police Department stated residents were complaining about house parties. The newest problem is a familiar one felt on campus.
The homeowners on Stadium Drive, across from the Greek, Hays Hall, Marion Hall and Clark Hall specifically, have said they are angry and tired of students parking on their street.
Students’ cars line the street at all hours of the day, and the residents said they are fed up with cars taking potential parking spots for the homeowners themselves or their guests.
Kellie Leah lives on the street.
She said, “It’s become a problem because they take up all the parking along the street so anyone coming to my house can’t park in front of my house.”
She also said students parking in front of her house has created a problem for her children.
“The carpool can’t pull up in front of the house, so I’m not really happy about it,” Leah said.
Leah said some students’ cars will stay in front of her house “for weeks at a time.”
She said if the school isn’t providing enough parking for their students that they need to do so to make sure students stop parking on her street.
Her next-door neighbor, Meyers Lawrence, said he “isn’t excited about” the number of students parking on his street and in front of his house. He said when the new dorms were finished he noticed more students began to park on his street.
“[Students] are leaving their cars here for a whole week at a time, and it’s based upon TCU not having adequate parking over there,” Lawrence said.
The lack of parking spots for guests led to Lawrence getting a parking ticket, he said.
“We had some people coming over to do some work at the house and I had to pull my car out (of the drive way) and park across the street for a little while where it says no parking, then the cops come by and give me a ticket,” Lawrence said.
Lack of spots on the street isn’t the only problem that has arisen from students parking there.
Lawrence said, “Some of them let the trash fall out of their car and when I’m walking the dogs, I’m picking up their trash all the time.”
He also said one day he almost parked his car in front of the gate the buses use to enter the Greek parking lot to block it off. He said he planned on leaving a note on his car saying, “I’ll move my car when you move yours.”
John Castor also lives on the street and, like his neighbors, said students parking there is a problem. He said in the past, his family didn’t mind people parking for things like chapter meetings on Sundays or game day parking for football games but now it’s become an issue.
“We have kids that have cars, and we can’t even park or get in ourselves,” he said. “I’ve got jobs going on next door, and my workers can’t park so they have to park in our driveway and other people’s driveways.”
Castor added that student’s cars partially block their driveway, and that it’s difficult to get in and out of it.
“It’s convenient, close, and probably all the construction,” he said as to why students park on the street.
Joe McAloon, a sophomore political science major, said he parks on the street on a regular basis.
“The spots fill up very quickly, and if you don’t have a spot in the [Greek] lot then you have to park in the freshmen lot, which is seventh-tenths of a mile away, and late at night you don’t want to walk there when it’s cold,” McAloon said. “We just park across the street because it’s close, and we can just hop over the fence, and it’s not hurting anybody to park there, and it’s a much shorter walk for us.”
DeAnn Jones, the coordinator of parking and transportation services, said TCU isn’t allowed to issue tickets to students who park on the street because it’s the city of Fort Worth’s jurisdiction.
She said the city has yet to contact her about a problem, and she has only received one direct complaint about it, but Jones also said she doesn’t know what other departments or people have been contacted.
Both Lawrence and Castor said they have contacted TCU and the Fort Worth Police department on numerous occasions to complain.
Jones said if students cannot find a place to park in the Greek then they should park in the first year student parking garage, parking lot, or overflow lot and ride the shuttle to their desired location.