Students cause headaches for neighbors


Tania Moran

Student walks to campus from the Sunset Heights neighborhood.

Eric Alba , Staff Reporter

Residents who live in the area surrounding UTEP say they are disturbed because of the large numbers of students parking in their neighborhood, which they say affects their everyday lives.

According to, student-parking fees range from $90 to as high as $400.

“Paying for school is tough enough and nowadays you never know when the university is going to raise tuition,” said Jasmine Flores, junior kinesiology major. “I’m willing to wake up 10 minutes earlier to save some money, and I have my bike so it’s never too bad getting to class.”

Many UTEP students attempt to avoid these extra expenses by parking in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Lillian Hargrove has lived on Kansas Street for 15 years and has dealt with the excessive number of students parking their cars, which take place during the fall, spring and during the summer semesters.

 “I had a doctor’s appointment at 1 p.m. and noticed a car blocking my driveway around 11:50 a.m., this isn’t the first time it’s happened,” Hargrove said. “I called the police on the non-emergency number, and by 12:40 p.m. the tow truck came and took the car.” 

Hargrove and few of her neighbors have gone to city council multiple times, where they have met with city Representative Ann Morgan and Ted Marcus, city traffic control manager.

“Yes they put a few signs up here and there and stationed a cop to patrol the area, but that has had little help. I even had a cop suggest that I move,” Hargrove said.

Hargrove said she is concerned about the safety of the area in general, and said she feels that more could be done to protect its residents.

“When the street is full of cars, it’s hard to see what’s coming left or right at the stop sign, you literally have to be in the middle of the street to see if there’s a car coming your way,” she said.

Students also park in the alleys behind the houses, blocking the way for emergency vehicles.

“What if a neighbor or I were to get hurt and the ambulance could not get through? What then? I just want them to respect the area,” Hargrove said.

Jayna, a resident on Kansas Street, also felt that student parking is a problem.

 “I went to UT Austin and understand that parking permits are expensive, but over there the city had parking meters surrounding the area. I think they should do the same here,” she said. “I feel the amount of cars that crowd the area definitely affects the value of my home. I was not aware of this when I moved in.”

 As for residents near Mundy Park, they feel very differently toward student parking.

Ingrid Chowd, who lives on Prospect Street, feels that student parking is not a big deal.

“We have parking permits in this area and I pay $12 a year for my parking permit, but students paying almost $400 for a permit is just too much money,” Chowd said.

Amy Ovorake, a resident on Porfirio Diaz Drive, also felt that student parking wasn’t an issue.

“I pay the annual parking permit fee for my area and I also get two visitor permits. The only thing I don’t like is when UTEP has big events,” Ovorake said.

For more information about parking on campus, visit

Eric Alba may be reached at [email protected].