Neighbors battle over newly installed ‘permit parking’ signs

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Finding parking, even in your own neighborhood, is getting harder and harder for a lot of Austinites.

A city program is helping residents take back parking on their blocks. The Residential Permit Parking (RPP) Program aims to increase on-street parking available to residents and their guests while balancing the needs of others who desire to park along the street.

After two years of fighting for parking permits on her block, one East Austin resident has finally brought RPP to her neighborhood. Franny Zarate says living on Lynn Street has been stressful, due to a nearby club offering little parking.

“The club patrons use Lynn Street for parking,” she said, “and over the last 10 years we have had our cars hit several times, our friend’s car totaled, public urination, vandalism, prostitution, noise and litter and no where to park when we come home.”

Residents who want permit parking must prove to the city that there is a need for it and that a majority of neighbors want it as well. After reaching out to neighbors, she surpassed the 60 percent threshold for a petition.

“Beer bottles, wrappers,” said Adam Niederpruem, commenting on how bad things can get at night. “Anything from candy to condoms.”

He and other neighbors say parking signs may be the answer.

“It’s a tough intersection because you have both things going on there, so this is an easy way to compromise,” said Niederpruem. “There’s plenty of parking around.”

However, some neighbors do not see it as a victory. They say they did not want parking permits on their streets and are upset about the parking signs.

“Why do I have to have a permit for my own flesh and blood to park here, to visit their mother?” said longtime resident Chencho Flores. He’s lived in the neighborhood since the 1970s. He says he doesn’t know where family, friends, and his wife’s caregivers will park.

“Do I have a say so on my side? Can my family park next to my house on my side?” said Flores.

Each house is allowed four parking permits costing $10 each. Residents can also apply for special day passes if they are planning a special occasion with a lot of guests.

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