Brian – Much better, much more clear

Residents want high schoolers to park elsewhere

by Brian Simon

El Segundo High School neighbors have signed a petition to stop students from parking on their streets during school hours. The petition complains that students are grabbing spots in the morning, forcing residents to park two to three blocks from home.

A woman who lives on the corner of Mariposa Avenue and Eucalyptus Street began circulating the petition door-to-door last month. She plans to ask the council to establish a permit parking program for neighborhood residents. She said she has collected signatures from residents in the 500 and 600 blocks of Eucalyptus and Standard streets and the 200 and 300 blocks of Mariposa Ave.

Standard St. poses a particular challenge because there are a number of blue handicapped zones on the block, which already limits parking.

High School Principal Newton Hart said he was not aware of the petition, but agreed that parking has been a sore spot since he came aboard five years ago. He said he has had discussions with Mayor Mike Gordon about adding diagonal parking in front of the school.

Construction work at the school has wiped out 25 parking spaces, compounding the problem. Hart estimated that 100 students drive to school daily. He added that some staff members do not have reserved spaces and may also be using adjacent streets.

Help might arrive if the Measure E school bond passes in November. One of the proposed projects is to convert the south campus tennis courts into 75 parking spaces.

In the past, students had a designated lot at Mariposa and Main. But the school district has given that space to the city, which is using it for commercial businesses.

Students not only use nearby residential streets, but also the Methodist church and other private lots. The Mason Lodge blocks its parking lot entrance with a truck and construction cones to keep students out.

Parking isn’t the only problem, residents say. One resident, who asked not to be identified, said he has seen students throw trash in his truck on the way to school.

"I have to remove cartons of milk and Taco Bell wrappers," he said. Other residents reported that students stomp out cigarettes by the Methodist Church lot and urinate by the gate adjacent to the El Segundo Women’s Club. The petitioners hope that by controlling the parking, they can curtail the vandalism. ER