The Auburn City Council heard a number of complaints from Auburn residents pertaining to Auburn High School student parking at the Tuesday, Nov. 18 council meeting.
Citizens from surrounding neighborhoods such as Terrace Acres Drive, Terrace Acres Circle, Green Street, Eagle Circle, Tisdale Circle, Oak Street, Flowers Avenue and Flowers Circle voiced their concerns of the some seemingly 60 to 65 cars that are parked in their neighborhood every day before school, which has caused a number of traffic concerns.
The ordinance proposed at the council meeting would require signage to be posted in places where parking will no longer be allowed.
Perry Oaks of East Samford Drive said he is highly in favor of an ordinance which would require parking signage to be erected in the affected areas but also felt the signage would only temporarily fix a problem which can simply move from one place to another.
"As a city I feel like we are only treating a symptom and not a problem," Oaks said. "Once these signs go up, if they do, that issue is going to go somewhere else and we will be right back here again discussing where we need to put signs. The problem as I see it and it is well known is the lack of parking at Auburn High School."
Oaks, who said he knows Mayor Bill Ham Jr. likes to hear not only problems, but solutions, proposed a solution to the problem which would allow for a residential radius to figuratively be put around the school where students are not allowed to park.
"Why not just say within a certain radius of the school is residential parking only, whatever that radius may be," Oaks said. "Now, that could be enforced on a complaint basis. If I, the resident, have people parking in front of my house and I don't know who they are and I don't like it, I could complain to the city and then the city could deal with it"
Jannett Smith, a close resident to Oaks, said she did not have a problem with students parking in front of her house until last year when she witnessed drug use and an increase of liter on her street.
"We didn't have a problem with it until last year and they sit out on the front or side of the corner and they sell drugs and they smoke and they have done that for about a year or so now," Smith said. "We have trash in our yard and every day after work we have to pick it up and I am just at my wits end."
Ham said he felt like timing was a big issue seeing as Auburn High School is only three years away from changing locations.
"The timing I think is the big issue here," Ham said. "Hopefully once the new high school is built this problem will no longer exist and the parking will be there."
Until then, the council voted to amend the ordinance to shut parking down on those streets from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Monday-Friday, a 30 minute increase from the previous time of 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m..
"The second block begins at 9:45 so if we change it to 10:00 a.m., I think it will cut back on students moving their cars to these areas and ultimately help the situation," said Councilwoman Lynda Tremaine of Ward 5.
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