Passed petition limits parking north of campus

Sports Editor

Students parking on the north side of campus in residential areas will have to find new, free places to park within the next two weeks.

“No parking” signs will be posted on 21st and Yale and 21st and Roosevelt Streets.

Residents of the area recently signed and passed a petition following concerns about limited parking.

“People are blocking the driveways and mailboxes,” said James Roseboro, President of the Northeast Heights Neighborhood Association in the area north of campus. “The mail services are upset. We like the students, but we have to save our mail system.”

At a community meeting last Thursday, the manager of the area’s post office told residents that if they didn’t pass a petition to place no parking signs on the streets, they’d be forced to pay for “cluster” mailbox units, said Wichita Community Policing Officer Troy Bussard. Cluster mailbox units would cost around $1,000 each.

“It’s a good thing because we have elderly and they cannot afford to move their mailboxes,” Roseboro said.

Bussard said the residents don’t mind the parking when it’s for basketball games, but when it’s all day, every day, residents could back into students’ cars.

State law states that people must park eight feet away from driveways. Bussard warns against students parking so close to driveways until the signs are officially up.

“If it’s close to eight feet, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt,” Bussard said. “But, if you’re crowding the driveway, I’m writing the tickets.”

So many cars on the street also creates a hazard for residents, said vice president of the Neighborhood Association, Gene Smith.

“Emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to get in and school bus drivers have trouble dropping off kids,” Smith said. “We really don’t want to [put up no parking signs], but it’s tough not to as of now.”

One resident in the neighborhood, Danielle Marrone, said she feels for the students, but parking is causing traffic jams on the streets.

“With so many cars parked, the street isn’t wide enough to be a two-way street,” Marrone said. “People have to pull over to let other cars by and it’s turning it into a one-way street situation.”

Parking on Yale won’t be allowed between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Resident Phyllis Burley said she isn’t happy about the times on the no parking signs. Yale is a common spot for drivers to park their cars during Shocker basketball games.

“I just feel bad for the Shocker basketball fans,” Burley said. “You have to take them into consideration.”

Officer Bussard said he wasn’t worried about parking during Shocker basketball game nights.

Junior Danielle Coen said she parks on 21st and Yale Streets every day she has classes and was unaware of the signs going up.

“I’m not a big fan,” Coen said. “It doesn’t sound like a good situation ’cause kids are going to park further down and it’s going to be a further walk to school. They don’t want to pay to park at the school and they have right here to park right across the street, so it kinda stinks to park somewhere else.”

Wichita State faculty members attended the meeting Thursday and shared the residents’ concerns. WSU is urging students to continue to use the shuttle buses, said Lou Heldman, vice president of Strategic Communication.

“The vast majority of WSU students are considerate of the concerns of others, especially of people who are their grandparents’ ages,” Heldman said. “We continue to encourage our students to be considerate of neighbors and to park on campus with a permit, or for free in shuttle lots.”

On 21st and Yale Streets, one side of the road is already no parking. Now, students won’t be able to park on the other side from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

On 21st and Roosevelt Street, parking won’t be allowed at all.

Parking won’t be allowed on 22nd and 24th Streets between Roosevelt and North Gentry Streets. Also, parking will not be permitted in the cul-de-sac on North Gentry.