Archive for Thursday, January 24, 2008

City resolves Hithergreen parking problems

January 24, 2008

Some one-on-one conversations with Lansing High School students seems to have curtailed parking problems on Hithergreen Drive.

City Administrator Mike Smith said after residents on the street complained last week at City Council and School Board meetings about 25 to 30 students' cars parking on the street daily and causing problems, he acted.

He instructed Police Chief Steve Wayman to identify students using the street for overflow parking at Lansing High School and to contact either the students or their parents about the neighbors concerns.

Since then, Smith said, there has been an average of three or four cars parked on Hithergreen south of the schools campus.

"It didn't look like either folks - those residents who were upset or my Police Department - had directly talked to the kids," Smith said.

At Thursday's council meeting, Joe Sparks, 412 Hithergreen Drive, presented a petition signed by 43 neighboring residents and outlining their concerns.

Wayman acknowledged to council members that parking on Hithergreen had been an ongoing issue.

He said, at first, police officers would contact the high school and school administrators would ask students to move their cars to the school parking lot. More recently, he added, temporary, orange no-parking signs have been posted.

Wayman remarked, however, "If they (students) are legally parked, there's not much we can do."

Mayor Kenneth Bernard noted that if no-parking signs remained, residents of Hithergreen would be unable to park in front of their own homes.

"We need to be careful whatever we do doesn't create another hardship," he said.

Reached for comment Tuesday, John Bennett, who lives at 410 Hithergreen Drive and also spoke at Thursday's meeting, said he had seen "significant improvement" since the meeting but that continued leadership from school administrators and students would be needed to completely resolve the issue.

Smith said police would continue to monitor the situation.

"If they come back, we'll put up the no-parking signs," he said, "and no one will be able to park there."

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