New year, same parking problems for Huntsville High

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.  - It's a new school year, but the same old problem for residents that live near a local high school. Last spring, neighbors began complaining about all the students that park on both sides of the streets near Huntsville High, causing wrecks, blocked driveways and headaches for homeowners.

“It’s unfair," said Suzie Gilino, who lives on a street congested by student parking. “It used to be a very peaceful street, but now it’s not”

When parking first got out of hand last spring, she complained to Councilman Bill Kling.

“I think the residents have a legitimate beef,” said Councilman Kling.

For months, Kling has partnered with Huntsville City Schools to find temporary solutions, like opening up Mayfair Park's 150 spaces and providing a shuttle to and from the front door.

So far, the parking lot has largely remained empty.

Superintendent Matt Akin said they're hoping new incentives will change that.

“Kids don’t necessarily want to park there so Principal King has worked to offer things like Prom tickets and football tickets just to incentivize kids parking there,” said Huntsville Superintendent Matt Akin.

Akin said, they've also added other parking spaces closer to campus.

“Just right past the baseball field, we’ve added 80 spaces in a parking lot there, so we’ve moved our maintenance and operations parking, we’ve kind of put them at the end of the lot, which has created additional student parking spaces," said Akin.

But from just looking at activity along Poincianna Street, students are still choosing street parking, causing the roadway to be too narrow and potentially dangerous.

Suzie said she's tired of just short-term solutions.

“What are we going to do in the meantime?” she asked.

The long term solution is to relocate a school system warehouse and replace it with hundreds of student parking spaces, but projects like those take time.

“We’re just trying to do what we can to make it livable until we can get this issue taken care of for good," said Kling.

In the meantime, just like the students, Suzie will be counting down the days until another summer break.

"They just need to do something this year, you know, not just keep postponing it, and postponing it," she said.