Residents near Modesto Junior College’s east campus have had it with students hogging the parking on their street, leaving them with no place to park their cars. And they are not happy with students leaving behind their fast-food and junk-food wrappers.
More than 67 percent of Myrtle Avenue property owners between Coldwell and Stoddard avenues have signed a petition asking the city to restrict parking on their street to residents with parking permits issued by the city. Myrtle is one block east of the college.
“It’s a nightmare,” said Myrtle Avenue resident Sarah Hosner about the students parking along her street. “They throw their McDonald’s and Starbucks coffee cups in our gutters.”
Residents paint red marks on the curbs near their driveways to remind students not to park too close to driveways and block residents’ cars. Some even use traffic cones to reserve parking spots. Hosner, who has lived on Myrtle for five years with her family, was not aware of the petition drive but said she supports the parking permits.
The City Council’s Safety and Communities Committee will take up the matter at its Monday meeting. The committee will make a recommendation on the proposal before forwarding it to the full council. Public Works Director Bill Sandhu said he expects the proposal will come to the council in four to six weeks. The council would hold a public hearing as part of determining whether to grant the property owners’ request.
A city report states at least 67 percent of the property owners need to sign a petition before the council will consider what is called a residential parking permit zone. The city has two of these zones – one along Yosemite Avenue near Modesto High School and one on 11th Street – according to the report.
Sandhu said the parking permits cost $40 per home per year. The report states parking enforcement officers would enforce the restriction. The report does not say how much a ticket would cost for parking on the street without a permit.
Although other residential streets near MJC’s east campus also are overwhelmed with students parking their cars, Sandhu said the city is not aware of property owners along these streets seeking to restrict parking. But he said he expects that will change if the council grants this request.
“Once the people see this,” he said, “I think people will pay more attention.”
MJC spokeswoman Linda Hoile said students may park on residential streets because it’s closer to their classes than one of the campus student parking lots, or they may be cash-strapped and don’t want to pay $30 for a fall or spring semester parking permit or $2 to park for a day.
“Student parking is always an issue,” she said. “But I think we have more parking spaces on campus than people realize.”
Police officials also will provide committee members with the latest traffic and crime statistics for the city. The reports compare the first six months of this year with the first six months of 2014.
The committee meets at 5 p.m. in Room 2005 on the second floor of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St.
Kevin Valine: 209-578-2316