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News February 10, 2011 //  by  // 27 Comments

Streets off-limits for UH

Many UH community members forego the battlefield caused by limited campus parking spaces by parking in residential neighborhoods surrounding the campus. Beginning Feb. 15 one of those neighborhoods will become a private parking zone.

The community of University Oaks, located off Wheeler Street and Cullen Boulevard, has certified with the City of Houston as a Residential Permit Parking neighborhood, according to a UH news release.

Any vehicle parked along streets within the neighborhood will require a parking permit.

UH alum and President of the University Oaks Civic Club Alex Cabrera said the city began placing signs at the end of January.

“It’s been an issue since I lived there in 2001,” Cabrera said, noting that the parking issue has been worse since UH started several construction projects.

To get the word out about the new parking policy, leaflets have been distributed on cars, warning tickets have been issued by the HPD, and a press release has been released on the University’s parking and transportation website.

Supply chain and logistics technology senior Stephany Marcucci lives in the University Oaks neighborhood.

Marcucci said that she recognizes that parking is an issue at the University, but it causes a lot of problems for people who live in the neighborhood.

“I pay a lot to live here,” Marcucci said. “Sometimes I have to park three streets away because of the students.”

Marcucci said that sometimes residents of the neighborhood call the police on UH community members who park in front of their houses.

David Boulos, a Hotel and Restaurant Management senior who has parked in the neighborhood for two years, had not heard about the neighborhood’s new parking policy.

“It’s expensive and ridiculous having to fight for a spot (on campus),” Boulos said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do now.”

Ginger Walker, UH Department of Public Safety executive administrative assistant, said that the University is standing by to help students with the transition.

“If a student’s car gets towed in the neighborhood, we will do everything we can to help them locate them,” Walker said, noting that the department has no affiliation with the neighborhood and no control over the enforcement of the new policy.

The City of Houston Parking Management Department will enforce the parking restriction, beginning with warning citations and eventually implementing parking tickets and towing.

Students without permits could still find free parking next to the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, with whom the University has a partnership.

An estimated 75 to 85 percent of students commute to campus every day, Jonas Chin, University Services program coordinator, said.

“We’re worried about the welfare of students, faculty and staff,” Chin said, noting that parking spaces are set to decrease by an estimated 1,929 spaces over the next two years as the University undergoes several construction projects.

“Things will not even out until 2013, when we will have a surplus,” Chin said. “Our number one priority is finding temporary parking spaces.”

Chin also said that some parking locations, like the lot by the Energy Research Park, are severely underused.

The Energy Research Park, located two miles from campus, has 200 parking spots available to UH commuters with economy passes. Those commuters could then take the shuttle to campus.

The University is also pushing UH community members to consider biking, walking, carpooling, riding METRO, and other alternative methods of transportation as spaces become rare.

The University’s goal is to have 5 percent of the campus community using alternative methods of transportation by the end of 2012.


  • Agnerd

    Are the residents of that neighborhood going to reimburse the city for the cost to construct and maintain their roadways? If not, they should not be allowed to restrict parking. If the taxpayers paid for the streets, they should be able to park there. Let the residents pay for the road if they want exclusive use of it.

  • Engyo

    I already do – it's called property taxes. I have lived in UOaks for 20 years, and paid taxes for that long.

  • pepe

    build more residences instead of parking garages

  • pppleasefixit

    i left UH for good because of multiple reasons. UH's philosophy is quantity over quality. The campus is gigantic but situated in the 'hood – check the police report for this place it is a long list of rape, assault, theft committed 50 % by students 50 % by the ghetto. There are like 4 different entrances and a big network of streets in the campus, but most of them are blocked or detoured and the parking lots get to overflow capacity by 8am with just the morning classes. Then the parking police are in full force to see if they can put a ticket or fine on some poor student who parked in the grass. They will spend the next 10 – 20 years harassing the honest students who are trying to just get to class without having to park 3 hours ahead of time instead of recommending to the administration to do a complete 180 degree turnaround on the layout of the campus. Houston is a commuter city whose transport *unfortunately* is purely based on cars they should know better, the parking here needs to be multiple like 8 – 10 story parking garages and tear down some of the wasteful buildings that are just taking up campus space and are some moldy energy-inefficient relics from like 1950.

    Online college is the future… why would anyone in their right mind want to drive 50 minutes away to park in some gravel lot on the edge of the ghetto and then walk 15 minutes to a building in the hot sun across mud and and broken streets for $10000 tuition just to reach a class of 300 people.

    • jessica

      good luck with you U. of Phoenix degree

    • Guest

      What a bitter person you are.

    • brenlaws

      You're comments about the "ghetto" are ignorant and racist. UT has higher rates of sexual assault than UH, but it's not situated in-between low-income neighborhoods of color, so it's seen as not "the ghetto".

      The UH community constantly disrespects 3rd ward and other neighborhoods surrounding it through ignorant things like this.

      Stop doing it please, it only makes the world worse.

    • Eric

      Hey I'll build your fancy pants garage for you. I'll just gladly raise your tuition to $20,000. Deal?

      No Deal? Then leave and go somewhere else. This is America. You have options. Don't complain about the ones YOU choose.

  • brianvt

    The Leeland park neighborhood that borders Elgin and Cullen has graciously delayed residential parking permits until after the SE light rail is finished.

    A public street does not mean students can abuse the local residents, that is why the residential parking permit ordinance exists.

  • GoodbyeUH

    I also left UH for more of a "traditonal" 4 year college. It is a world of a difference, I regret wasting two years of my life at UH. Wreck Em!!!

    • Eric

      Texas Tech sucks. Hope you're having a blast out there decorating a statue and chasing tumble weeds on the weekends.

    • Greg Kowalczyk

      I don't blame you for leaving Cougar High School. So glad I was able to transfer to UT and get a degree that is worth something.

      As for the comment about how UH has enough parking and more so than most four-year schools, you have got to be kidding me! UT has more students and, despite the fact that it is NOT a commuter school, it has more parking facilities and better police department than UH.

      UT is also in a good area and not surrounded by a ghetto full of thugs.

  • COOGAROB

    YOU HAVE A DRIVEWAY? YOU PEOPLE BOUGHT THE HOUSE THE THE STREET.

  • Steph

    UH IS AMAZING!! SORRY SOME OF YOU HAVE TO HATE ON SUCH A GREAT SCHOOL.

  • Kevin C

    This is an awful no win situation for everyone (well, except for the City which now has a new revenue source to exploit). I can see the wheels spinning now at City Hall (we can increase ticket revenue by converting city streets in neighborhoods into private parking zones). The argument that taxpayers share the cost of public street construction and maintenance is valid. Using public funds to create private streets does seem wrong. The argument about cars cramming neighborhood streets and creating a nuisance to homeowners is also valid. Nobody would like to have to live daily with that hassle and aggravation outside their doorstep. I wouldn't and understand their frustration. The students are expected to be in class by a certain time and it helps to avoid remote parking and shuttles, carpools, and other logistically challenging modes of transportation. The university needs to expand to stay competitive and attract the best students and with that comes space limitations and other traffic related delays. So, no matter how you look at it, it's a no win until 2013.

  • federalist

    If any federal money was used for the streets I believe the law says must be for all to use not just a select few

  • StudentsRCustomers

    UofH, like it or not, should be viewing themselves in the light of a business with the students as customers. Every business that relies on driving customers (eg commuters) knows that to get the customer simply just in the door, they need parking. No parking, no customers.

    It sounds like the situation is that UofH is building lots of store space (ie buildings) but they have not comprehended that the customers REQUIRE some place to park. Frankly, the parking is as important of buildings — hand in hand, not an afterthought.

    However, UofH is like many other schools and universities where the attitude is still like public high school — where the student is looked upon as though they should be grateful to the profs and admin for any crumb they provide. The students have a problem and we hope they'll figure it out. That is like a business saying that traffic is bad around there store and their is no place to park — gee I hope they figure it out so they come and spend their money on my wonderful products (because it is so darn good they can't get it elsewhere!).

    UofH is in competition with many, many fine universities. Until they realize the competitive nature and stop being the local community college with a captive student body who they can take for granted, they will remain stuck in neutral. UofH is not Apple wit the long lines for the latest offering. It is not the latest cult movie.

    Get real, UofH. Lose the attitude. Your primary customer is the local Houston community. That group of customers REQUIRES parking. Provide it first — then build the building palaces with all the donor names. PAY ATTENTION FIRST TO YOUR CUSTOMERS not the alumni wanting a memorial to themselves in the form of a new building.

    When was the last time someone built a parking lot or a parking garage and had their name attached to it? We need to see the "Roy Cullen Memorial Parking Garage for Commuting Students."

  • JH…

    I am a third year student at UH and I must agree that they seem to value quantity over quality….They're building larger facilities and taking away the VERY VERY VERY VERY limited parking that we really dont even have to spare…I've always felt that it wasnt fair to the students to have to pay so much for a parking decal that virtually means nothing once you enter the parking lot….I frequently park in the University Oaks neighborhood and I thought it was quite refreshing to have somewhere free to park despite the trek to campus sometimes…I just feel as though if you're going to pride yourselves on being a commuter school then you could at least have more sympathy for people who make those long trips here because they genuinely believe in the university.

    CONTINUED IN NEXT POST….

  • Uh_parker

    I am a junior at UH and can testify that all UH cares about is money. There are 40,000 students this year and they keep trying to get more students yet at the same time they are taking away parking. UH is a commuter school, people don't want to live in the hood. Now I hear they are taking away 1,900 parking spaces? Are they insane? Students will be parking in these people's front lawns if this goes through. There are not enough tow trucks in the city to move all the student's cars they displace.

    UH needs to not sell any more parking permits than parking spaces available, because if they don't I will park on the library lawn before I carpool from outside the beltway.

  • Eric

    It's simple. If you don't like fighting for parking then live on campus. Stop complaining. You knew what you were getting into when you enrolled in a college that is currently a "commuter" school. Get over it.

    • Yoyo

      A commuter school should have enough parking, that's why we come here. Read my lips: A 'commuter' school is not a residential school.

      And you know, maybe UH should have thought about the parking problem a little bit more, considering that even WAY BACK in 1973 people were writing opinion articles about how to fix the parking problem. Youda' think something would have been done since then, but noooo.

  • Eric

    Agreed. They are taking away parking spaces because Khators plan is to turn UH into a more traditional school than into a commuter school. We already have way more parking spaces on campus than a typical 4 year university does that requires freshman students to live on campus. If you don't like it, go somewhere else. Oh wait, you can't. There is are no other reasonable university options cost and quality wise in Houston. This is why UH has struggled for so long. Too many complainers. If you don't like it don't come here in the first place.

  • Eric

    If it's an issue why do you keep paying for it? Don't purchase something you don't like. Also, don't pull the struggling college student card. Heard it before. Doesn't seem logical you can pay $4k+ per semester for classes but you can't add another $80+ for a parking pass does it?

  • StudentsRCustomers

    By far, UofH is a COMMUTER SCHOOL. It is not an in-residence school. Most of the students commute because their situation does not fit with on-campus residence. They are part-time students, students who live with their parents or have homes elsewhere in the city, etc. A commuter school draws the vast majority of the students from the local community. But those already in the community have little need or desire to move their residence to go to school.

    Frankly, either build more parking garages or situate that darn fiasco of rail so that the community can take public rail to the school.

    Again, UofH is a business. Someone needs to assess the needs and then follow those needs. Not build a palace to some alumni simply because they donate the money.

    Sigh.

  • jerry shaw

    I would take the Metro, but it takes me 2 hours per trip. That is 20 hours per week. Part time job right there.

  • Mac

    Why don't they just build more parking garages and charge the same fee that I pay now for the garage?

  • CougarMetropolis

    UH is a great school, your right about that. It's the parking that is the issue. UH feel that once the Metro Rail is completed, the parking will not be a problem.

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