HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - When students returned to class two weeks ago, so did the chronic street parking problems at Huntsville High School. Residents that live nearby, have been complaining for months about blocked driveways, congested streets and wrecks near where they live.
"They just keep coming flying up and down the street. They’re not considerate of the community," said Grant Wright, back in February.
Residents said it was like the "Wild West" out on Rhett Avenue and Poincianna Street - no rules, dangerous driving and loud noise.
“There have been times where school students have actually blocked people in their driveway,” says Councilman Bill Kling.
So Councilman Bill Kling partnered with the Huntsville City Schools to work on a variety of fixes.
“We’ve had different things we’ve tried during the school year. We had some success but not as much as we needed,” says Kling.
We went back out to Mayfair Park Wednesday.
Despite dangling free Prom and football tickets to students who choose to park there instead of the street, only eight cars were in the lot about 30 minutes before dismissal.
While that proposal hasn't exactly caught on, another has. They've opened up another lot near the HCS Security Complex, which offers 50 new spaces right next door to campus.
“That opened up some parking spaces that can be used and again we’re just trying different ideas, everybody pitching in," says Councilman Kling.
The progress, so far, is promising.
Two weeks ago, Poincianna Street was a congested mess. Wednesday, it was quiet. We only counted four cars parked along the street, and it was unclear if any of them were connected to students.
“I think we’re off to a great start," he says.
We doubt neighbors will say, it was "too quiet."
“I have gotten positive emails that things are a lot better,” says Kling.
The new parking lot is only on loan to Huntsville High School temporarily.
As a long-term fix, Huntsville City Schools plans to demolish a maintenance facility to make room for a surface parking lot that can fit up to 500 cars.
That is expected to be ready in three years.