A new semester, an old problem

By AMRITA JAYAKUMAR

neighborhoods@ColumbiaMissourian.com

With the start of a new semester comes chaos in at least one of the city’s neighborhoods.

“It’s just a madhouse,” East Campus resident Dan Johnson said, referring to the parking problems that come with the start of every fall semester.

From illegal parking in resident lots to parking on the street, the first few weeks of the school year usually result in chaos and frustration for residents.

In a previous Neighborhoods News post, Bonnie Bourne, president of the East Campus Neighborhood Association, expressed her frustration with the lack of attention paid to street signs by new drivers.

Parking rules are determined by city ordinances, which most new arrivals in Columbia are unaware of. A list of parking related ordinances can be found here.

New residents parking on East Campus streets, especially on University Avenue, may not realize they are disobeying city ordinances.

According to Bourne, it takes a slew of tickets handed out by the Columbia Municipal Parking Utility at the start of the year to make new students aware of the rules.

Sara Mitchell, an MU student and Mimosa Court resident, is facing an almost daily struggle when it comes to parking.

“My apartment complex has a parking lot, but people who don’t live here keep parking there,” she said “I have to park either in the street or in the narrow alley behind the complex, where I end up blocking someone.”

Being forced to park elsewhere also makes residents vulnerable to the possibility of their cars being towed.

Johnson, who also rents property on East Campus, has a strategy to protect his tenants from being towed.

“I make a list of the tenants’ license plates to hand over to them, so that they know if whoever’s parked in their spot is allowed to,” he said. “That way, they can decide if they want to do away with the spot for that day, inform me about it or take elevated action themselves.”

Most residents prefer just leaving a note for the other person, Johnson said.

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Filed under Columbia-Boone County, East Campus

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