Edmond Kicks UCO Students Off the Streets

Edmond Kicks UCO Students Off the Streets

The City of Edmond plans to install “No Parking” signs on neighborhood streets around campus, no longer allowing students to clog the streets. Violators of the new regulation will receive tickets from Edmond PD. Photo Illustration. (Ryan Naeve/The Vista)

The University of Central Oklahoma’s community is in for more parking difficulties as the City of Edmond establishes new regulations on the streets around campus.

Edmond is initiating a change for the neighborhood streets near campus and plan to install signs on both sides of the streets reading “No Parking, 8:00 a.m. – 4 p.m., Weekdays, School Days Only” to keep UCO students from parking there.

This change was prompted by several complaints from the inhabitants of those residential streets.

“I’ve been here for over 30 years and we’ve always had this issue come up when the UCO semester starts that the kids are parking in front of [and] in the residential neighborhoods…making the streets narrow, parking in such a way that they block people’s driveways,” said Tom Minnick of the City of Edmond Traffic Planning Department.

UCO sent out an email blast on Jan. 5 to the UCO community to notify students of the upcoming change. As stated in the email, this is something that is anticipated to impact commuters.

According to Brian Hiney of the City of Edmond’s Traffic Planning Department, this decision has been in deliberation since approximately the beginning of October.

“I believe that the issue is that whenever students park on both sides of the street around the campus, it could be difficult for emergency vehicles to move up and down the street,” Hiney said.

“The fine is $40, but if they don’t pay it within the first 5 days it goes up to $50 and that’s a City of Edmond municipal ticket,” said Lt. Todd Strader of the Edmond Police Department.

Strader said that even though they will be ticketing vehicles, there will not be any towing.

The restricted times will not just apply to UCO students, but to residents living in those areas as well. Prior to this decision being announced the City of Edmond sent out 373 letters to the homeowners in those areas.

According to Minnick, there were 22 negative responses, most of which were from residents with concern for service workers that may come out to the residents’ home, such as a lawn crew or repair worker, who typically arrive to perform service during the restricted times.

“Then we had a couple of concerns with some residents who didn’t have driveways,” Minnick said. “Those residents will either have to park behind their house in the alley or they’ll have to put in a driveway.”

While some residents have concerns about the new policy, others are more welcoming to it.

“When we got that letter, we jumped up and down we were so excited,” said Valerie Elliott, a current resident in the affected area. “It was getting to the point where delivery drivers can’t make their drives, [the] post office can’t do it, trash can’t get picked up and our driveway is blocked constantly.”

Hiney said that only restricting one side of the road was considered during the deliberation process, but the city decided to restrict both sides.

A section of the letter sent to residents said, ” there are several reasons why the signs should be posted on both sides of the street. If we allowed parking on one side only, how do we determine which side would be chosen over the other side? If parking were to be allowed on one side students, would be trying to capture those available spaces leaving none for the residents.”

The signs have not yet been placed, but according to Minnick they have been ordered for Traffic Control to install.

For any further questions, contact Brian Hiney 405-359-4736 or Tom Minnick 405-359-4775.

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