Patricia Nava said she almost always parks on a neighborhood street because she can’t find parking on campus.
“I’ve got a sticker, but I usually end up parking on the street,” the senior geography major said.
She’s not the only one.
Residents of the Bluebonnet Hills Neighborhood Association are in the midst of discussing parking bans for the 3100 block of Wabash Avenue nearest campus and possibly the surrounding parallel streets of Odessa Avenue and Rogers Avenue, a member of the neighborhood association said.
Neighborhood residents near campus are increasingly frustrated as student use of neighborhood streets as an alternative to campus parking, said John Davis, a member of the executive committee for the Bluebonnet Place Neighborhood Association.
In the next 10 days, the neighborhood association will meet with the district city councilman to discuss options for easing the parking problem, Davis said.
Possible options include timed parking zones, making one or both sides of Wabash Avenue a no-parking zone during school hours or issuing a city ordinance that would grant resident-only parking by permit, Davis said.
Nava said students have a right to park on the neighborhood streets.
“I understand their point, but the streets are public,” Nava said. “I don’t think they should have control as to who should park on the street.”
Problems with students parking on neighborhood streets have become increasingly worse over the last few years, and the residents’ biggest concern is students who sometimes park in areas that either partly or completely block the driveways to homes, Davis said.
“It is very serious,” Davis said. “[Residents] have been constantly blocked in their houses, and it’s very difficult for them.”
Karen Kroh, vice president of the University Place Neighborhood Association, said several years ago a similar situation occurred in the University Place neighborhood after an increasing number of students began to park on neighborhood streets, sometimes blocking driveways, which caused a no-parking regulation to be placed on streets nearest campus during school hours.
“If they just parked away from the drive then it wouldn’t have been a problem,” Kroh said.
Davis said the association will also consider putting parking regulations on the surrounding streets, realizing students may turn to these areas if parking becomes prohibited on Wabash Avenue.
Nava said the regulations might help the immediate area, but not the situation.
“I would just go to a different street,” she said.
Davis said most residents would prefer not to have parking regulations because of the disadvantages of not being able to park on the street and the enforcement issues that come with the regulations, such as the extra burden for police, which can be expensive and time consuming.
“Unfortunately, what we consider to be inconsiderate, if not irresponsible, is TCU students who won’t park on campus even though they can or could if they wished,” he said. “Because of that, they’re causing an action that’s going to get worse and worse.”
Rachel MacCarron, a junior engineering major, said on-campus parking is a problem, and she always has to leave earlier so she can find a spot and get to class on time.
DeAnn Jones, coordinator of parking and transportation with the TCU Police, said there is enough parking spaces on campus, but they’re just not close to the buildings, which is what the shuttle system is for.