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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Parking woes persist near campus

Annie+Marum%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0Astory+is+about+parking+policies+at+Sam+Hughes+
Annie Marum
Annie Marum/ Arizona Daily Wildcat story is about parking policies at Sam Hughes

For some residents and students, parking on the street in the Sam Hughes Neighborhood, near campus, is a problem in terms of information, availability and enforcement.

Located just east of Campbell Avenue, the neighborhood is a popular place to park, especially for students and sporting event spectators. But the City of Tucson’s strict policy enforcement and lack of information is a problem, according to some people who live in the area.

One parking policy within the neighborhood requires that drivers leave at least a 5-foot space between their car and the nearest driveway to allow for easy access.

Kathy Renno, a Tucson resident who regularly swims at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, has been parking across from Sam Hughes Elementary School for the past five or six years. Last week, Renno was issued a $188 citation for leaving 2 feet, 3 inches between her car and the nearest driveway.

Tickets are handed out regularly in that area, she said, and she feels that the cost of the citation was far too much.

“$25 would have done it for me to teach me a lesson, $50 I could have handled,” Renno said. “$188 was really, really annoying, so I sent back in the form saying that I would like to have a hearing with the judge.”

Renno said her plans to meet in court were later canceled after a friend advised her that parking tickets of that nature are rarely dismissed.

“I feel it’s just a moneymaker for the city of Tucson, (which) is in financial straits, to go after citizens for a minor crime like this,” she said.

Sheila Hoban, vice president of the Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association, was also issued a ticket for the same violation while parked in front of her own house. Hoban said information about the law is ambiguous, and the city could do a better job letting people know what is allowed and what isn’t.

“Basically what I found out was that the police measure one way and ParkWise (Tucson’s governing body for parking-related issues) was measuring a different way,” Hoban said. “They still haven’t resolved that.”

A ParkWise representative was unavailable for comment as of press time.

Some UA students living within the Sam Hughes area said they don’t have issues, but are hard-pressed to find places for their friends and families to park. Marisa Koven, a senior studying retailing and consumer sciences, said she and her roommate share two parking spaces in her apartment complex’s parking lot. Extra spaces for visitors are hard to come by, and determining which ones are permit-only is also difficult, Koven said.

“Every time I have a friend coming over, they always have to call and check with me and make sure that they can park outside,” Koven said. “I always have to go outside and assess the situation and see if the parking lot is full.”

Julia Leclerc, a junior studying speech, language and hearing sciences, shares a house with three roommates. Despite having minimal parking and several restrictions on the space that is available, Leclerc said parking in general really isn’t a problem.

“We do OK because only two of us have cars,” she said. “If there were more of us, it would be difficult.”

Game days, Leclerc said, are the most difficult to deal with in terms of parking. Sporting event spectators often park on the street, despite the restrictions that don’t allow parking on the curb.

While the parking enforcement in Sam Hughes may seem strict to some, others say that it is not only necessary, but effective, too.

“I would say they’re effective because they’re in place so that students don’t just come and park for free in Sam Hughes and walk to school,” Leclerc said. “They’re well-enforced because there isn’t ever any stray cars parked on school days. Clearly it’s working.”

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